FDA Warns Sara Lee Manufacturers Not to Put Misleading Warnings

On Tuesday, federal food safety officials said that they had warned a prominent American bakery to cease falsely labeling its goods as containing potentially harmful allergens.

Inspectors from the US Food and Drug Administration discovered that Bimbo Bakeries USA, which distributes buns and rolls under the names Entenmann’s, Sara Lee, Thomas’, Oroweat, and Ball Park, falsely stated sesame and tree nut components on its labels.

In a warning letter delivered to authorities at the company’s Horsham, Pa., headquarters this month, FDA officials stated that such items are considered “misbranded” according to FDA standards.

There can be no “misleading” information on food labels, according to authorities. 

Inspections conducted at Bimbo’s Sara Lee and Brownberry bread production facilities in Topeka, Kansas, and Phoenix, Arizona, towards the end of last year led to the issuance of the warning. Also, the Food and Drug Administration has said that allergy labels are not a substitute for actual measures taken to stop workers from contaminating one another in the workplace.

Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) advocates have stated that this type of labeling does a disservice to the approximately 33 million Americans who suffer from food allergies. According to Sung Poblete, chief executive of FARE, those people must always be vigilant about avoiding foods that could trigger severe, even fatal, allergic responses.

The health and safety of our community members depends on correct product labeling, according to Poblete, who stated in an email. 

The American branches of the Mexican food behemoth Bimbo claim to be the most prominent commercial baking firm in the United States. According to an email from business management, they are taking their role in protecting consumers with allergen sensitivities very seriously and are in communication with the FDA to address the problem.

Labeling issues at Bimbo and other firms surfaced in 2022 in response to a new regulation that required the listing of sesame as one of the top allergens on product packaging.

A number of corporations started sneaking tiny amounts of sesame into goods that didn’t initially include it to avoid liability and the expense and hassle of separating sesame seeds in a baking facility. According to FDA authorities, this goes against the spirit rather than the wording of federal regulations.