Is it a Crime for a San Diego Restaurant to Mislabel the Food it Sells?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Mar 16, 2016 | 0 Comments

Mislabeling or inaccurately describing restaurant food on a menu isn't just a dangerous business practice. It's also a crime under California Health & Safety Code 114087 HS.

The crime of mislabeling food in California consists of presenting food for human consumption in a way that misleads or misinforms the consumer. People who might be charged with this crime in San Diego--or elsewhere in California--include:

  • Restaurant owners;
  • Restaurant managers;
  • Store owners; and
  • Store managers.

In San Diego, investigations into allegations of the selling of mislabeled food will likely be carried out by the San Diego City Attorney's Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit.

Selling mislabeled food is a misdemeanor in California. This means a potential county jail sentence of up to six months, and/or a fine of between $25 and $1,000.

Fortunately, you are not guilty of this crime if you did not mislabel food intentionally and were not acting with criminal negligence. If this is the case, you can fight mislabeling food charges with the legal defense of "accident."

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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