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."