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Misleading Advertising: FDA Takes Action Against Some Food Manufacturers

Schwan's Consumer Brands was among a total of 17 food manufacturers to receive a warning letter in February from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding possible misleading information on the contents of the product's labels. The FDA doesn't always catch these things, however. So, if you feel that you've been harmed or deceived by information you found on a food label, you may wish to speak with a consumer fraud lawyer about seeking compensation. For more information, contact us.

Story Behind Schwan's Consumer Brands

The letter to Schwan discusses the nutrient labeling requirements on its package of Mrs. Smith's Coconut Custard Pie. Although the front of the package shows the product has no trans fat, the product doesn't carry a disclosure statement that it does have significant levels of saturated fat and total fat. The FDA maximums for an individual serving are:

  • 13 grams total fat
  • 4 grams saturated fat
  • 60 mg cholesterol

Amounts exceeding these per-serving weights must carry a disclosure "immediately adjacent to the claim" of the product, according to FDA regulations

Mrs. Smith's Coconut Custard Pie has:

  • 17 grams total fat
  • 9 grams saturated fat
  • 65 mg cholesterol

Manufacturers Should Follow Guidelines

The chief executive officer of Schwan's received the letter Feb. 22, 2010. It was made public in March. The letter states the company must reply to the FDA within 15 days, telling the agency how it plans to remedy the situation.

FDA Tries to Correct Misleading Information

Commissioner of the FDA Margaret Hamburg, MD, said the agency will be emphasizing the importance of labeling truthfulness and accuracy. Dr. Hamburg said such labeling is especially important today because of the widespread problems of obesity and dietary related illnesses in the country.

Schwan Food Company Background

The Schwan Food Company is a multi-billion dollar private organization employing about 17,000 workers worldwide. It is based in Marshall, Minnesota. Schwan's specializes in frozen foods sold in grocery stores, online, and to the food service industry. The company is located in about 50 countries.

Schwan's says its core values for its employees are growth, hard work, helping one another, enthusiasm and integrity. Here are some facts about the company:

  • Schwan's Home Service, Inc., has almost 500 sales and distribution centers in the country
  • Schwan's offers over 400 products
  • Schwan's Consumer Brands North America produces Red Baron Freschetta, Tony's pizza, Big Daddy's pizza, Larry's potatoes, Asian Sensations products, and Mrs. Smith's and Edwards desserts
  • The company says it is one of the leading suppliers of pizza to schools
  • Schwan's also sells to restaurants, convenience stores, hospitals and stadiums
  • Schwan's was begun in 1952 by Marvin Schwan when he loaded his Dodge panel van with 14 gallons of ice cream and delivered his family's ice cream to rural families in western Minnesota

Ask a Consumer Fraud Lawyer

If you believe you've been deceived by the information printed on a food package, you can seek help by calling us today.