Panera Asks The Government To Define Real "Eggs"
Panera Bread just launched new breakfast sandwiches featuring 100 percent real eggs, which the company describes as freshly prepared, cracked shell eggs and/or egg whites with no additives. But FDA regulations on eggs do not establish a standard and the brand wants the administration to change that in order to better inform consumers.
Without a standardized definition, the company argues, others can sell and advertise items that contain multiple additives, such as butter-type flavors, gums, and added color, under the generic term “egg.”
“Panera and our competitors use the FDA definitions to guide our product descriptions and names,” said Sara Burnett, Panera’s director of wellness and food policy. “But in the case of ‘eggs,’ we have no guidance. Brands can say they offer an egg sandwich, but sell an egg product that contains multiple additives. At Panera, consumers can be assured that when they order eggs, that’s exactly what they’re getting.”
After discovering the FDA’s lack of definition for the simple term “egg,” Panera began exploring menus from other companies in the food industry to better understand what’s in their “egg” sandwiches. Panera claims that 50 percent of the top 10 fast casual restaurants that sell breakfast have an “egg” made of at least five ingredients.
“Responsible companies will be transparent about the food items they serve, even if regulation does not require them to do so,” said Blaine Hurst, Panera’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “At Panera, we believe 100 percent real eggs are the basis for a great breakfast sandwich.”
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