Amid ingredients like rolled oats, brown sugar and nuts, the West Concord, Massachusetts-based bakery listed ‘love’, which, according to CEO John Gates, “puts a smile on people’s faces”.
However, the FDA is not amused.
In a letter posted on its website, the FDA told the bakery a human emotion cannot be an ingredient in baked goods.
The FDA wrote: "Love is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is consider to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient."
More seriously, the bakery also received a slap on the wrist about unsanitary practices.
The FDA noted mislabelled products, the potential for cross-contamination for people with peanut allergies, and products that were prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions that have not yet been addressed since the agency’s inspection in June.
“The agency expects the company to correct the serious violations found on FDA’s inspection, as noted in the warning letter,” the agency said in a statement.
Gates said the bakery will comply with the FDA, and has already signed a $100,000 per annum contract with a cleaning company, as well as another with a pest control company.
However, he is disappointed with the agency’s take on love.
“People ask us what makes [our granola] so good … and it’s kind of nice that [we] can say there’s love in it,” he said, noting it has been listed on the granola package for the past 20 years.
Nashoba Brook Bakery distributes breads and rolls to 120 stores, mostly in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and brings in around $5m in sales a year, Gates said.