Class action alleges Cento Fine Foods mislead consumers on premium tomato

By Marian Johns | Feb 28, 2019

NEW YORK — A class action lawsuit alleges Cento Fine Foods Inc., deceived consumers by saying a certain type of its canned tomatoes were "certified" to be a rare and premium tomato only grown in volcanic, southern Italian soil.

The lawsuit, Ricardo Sibrian v. Cento Fine Foods, Inc., filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York alleges negligent misrepresentation, fraud and unjust enrichment by Cento. According to the lawsuit, Cento says its "San Marzano" canned tomatoes are the premium San Marzano tomatoes that are specially grown and harvested only south of Naples in a limited number of fields. The tomatoes are so rare that seals and serial numbers are affixed to those grown in the region, the lawsuit states. 

The lawsuit alleges Cinto's allegations of a "third-party" certification on its San Marzano tomatoes is misleading and that the company could not plausibly harvest large amounts of the rare tomato. The suit says, "It is misleading to grow tomatoes that may or may not be from San Marzano seeds and represent them as being 'certified'."

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, monetary damages and plaintiff's attorney fees.

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