December 8, 2021

Volume XI, Number 342

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December 07, 2021

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December 06, 2021

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Salted Green Beans Sued For “No Preservatives” Claim

  • On November 19, a proposed class of consumers sued Del Monte Foods Inc. in Illinois federal court over a “no preservatives” claim on its canned Farmhouse Cut Green Beans. The proposed class alleged that the salt added to the green beans causes the “no preservatives” claim to be false and misleading.

  • The complaint, filed by named plaintiff Jaymee Fleming, alleges that consumers are increasingly looking for foods produced without preservatives, and that Del Monte charges a premium for its green beans by claiming that they have no preservatives. Fleming further alleges that the green beans packaging advertises that they are “with natural sea salt,” noting that salt can be added for taste as well as preservative effect. Fleming argues that Del Monte uses the salt as a preservative because it prevents deterioration of the green beans, makes it harder for bacteria to survive in the can, prevents and slows discoloration, and helps the green beans maintain texture and flavor. Thus, Fleming argues that the claim “no preservatives” is misleading to consumers who do not want to consume any type of preservatives in their food.

  • Fleming alleges that by using the salt, Del Monte gains an advantage over other companies and is able to charge more for its products by claiming that they are made without preservatives. Fleming seeks to represent two classes of consumers who purchased green beans: one for buyers in Illinois and another for buyers in North Dakota, Rhode Island, Michigan, Virginia, Wyoming, and Delaware. Keller and Heckman will continue to monitor and report on any developments.

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 328
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About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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