A consumer has filed a putative class action against Kimlan Foods
U.S.A. alleging the company misrepresents its jarred preserved-food
products as having “No Preservatives Added” despite containing citric
acid. Hu v. Golden Orchid, Ltd., No. 16-2234 (E.D.N.Y., filed May 4,
2016). The plaintiff purchased a 14-ounce jar of pickled cucumbers at a
supermarket in New York, allegedly relying on the “No Preservatives”
claims when choosing the product, then later discovered that citric acid
is “a non-natural, highly chemically processed ingredient regularly used
as a preservative (due to its acidic pH level which creates an environment
where bacteria cannot thrive) in ready-to-drink tea products.” The
complaint further argues that although “the acidic pH of citric acid would
most certainly provide tartness to the Products, such explanation is
pretextual because the real function of the citric acid in the Products is as
a preservative.” For alleged violations of New York consumer-protection laws, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and breach of
warranty, the plaintiff seeks class certification, damages, restitution,
an injunction and attorney’s fees.


Issue 603

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.