Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Warning Letter of the Week: Hey, this cheese isn't smoked!

I'm not aware of the extent of FDA's statutory powers, so I was amused to read this warning letter about smoked cheese:
Misbranded Food
1.    Your Smoked Horseradish Pasteurized Process Cheese Food, Smoked Habanero Pepper Pasteurized Process American Cheese with Habanero Peppers, and Smoked Cheddar Pasteurized Process Cheddar Cheese Food products are misbranded within the meaning of 403(a)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(a)(1)] in that the product labels are false and misleading. For example, your Smoked Horseradish Pasteurized Process Cheese Food, Smoked Habanero Pepper Pasteurized Process American Cheese with Habanero Peppers, and Smoked Cheddar Pasteurized Process Cheddar Cheese Food product labels declare “smoked” as a part of the statement of identity; however, according to the establishment inspection report the products do not go through a smoking process but rather have liquid smoke applied to the surface of the cheese. The products should not include the term “smoked” in the statement of identity but “with added smoke flavor,” “smoke flavored,” or with “natural smoke flavor” would be permissible.

2.    Your Smoked Horseradish Pasteurized Process Cheese Food product is misbranded within the meaning of 403(i)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. §343(i)(1)] because the labels fail to declare the common or usual name of the food. Specifically, “Horseradish Pasteurized Process Cheese Food” is not an appropriate common or usual name for a product that does not contain any horseradish, but rather horseradish flavor [21 CFR 101.3(b)].  
You know, if I were to find that Horseradish Pasteurized Process Cheese Food didn't have any horseradish, I might be disappointed.  

4 comments:

  1. And there is no real cheese or food in their "cheese food", so at least they are consistent liars. Any time I see "flavored" or "natural" on a food wrapper, my antennae start to quiver.

    "Warning, Will Robinson, Warning, Warning". :-)

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  2. All you highfalutin snobs can keep your "cheese food". I'll stick with my trusty old "cheese product", thank you very much. I prefer to take shots right out of the spray can.

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  3. This cheese must be going through the biggest existential crisis at the moment. Next it'll find out it's not even pasteurized.

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  4. Because the cheese has identified itself as "trans-horseradish" and "trans-smoked" it finds any language that claims it's misbranded to be offensive and personally limiting. It will also demand non-flavor specific shelf space.

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