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TGI Friday’s Skinless “Potato Skins” Products Class Action

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Package of TGI Friday's Potato Skins with Cheddar and Bacon

Do TGI Friday’s Potato Skins contain potato skins? No, says the complaint for this class action against TGI Friday’s, Inc. It claims that the products are therefore misbranded. 

The Nationwide Class for this action is all persons or entities in the US who made retail purchases of the TGI Friday’s Potato Skins product during the statute of limitations period. As an alternative, the complaint proposes a New York Class of all persons or entities who made retail purchases of the TGI Friday’s Potato Skins product in the state of New York during the statute of limitations period.

The products at issue including at least three varieties:

  • TGI Friday’s Potato Skins, Cheddar & Bacon 
  • TGI Friday’s Potato Skins, Bacon Ranch 
  • TGI Friday’s Potato Skins, Sour Cream & Onion 

They also include any other TGI Friday’s products claiming to contain potato skins but not containing any actual potato skins. 

In the complaint, the potato skins products are referred to as snacks. It points to the desire of consumers nowadays for healthier snacks and their willingness to pay more for them. 

The complaint cites a story of sailors eating potato skins for the vitamins they provide. “Regardless of the veracity of this story,” the complaint says, “it is the story that is often repeated by the industry, which can be seen from marketing boards, like the Idaho Potato Commission.” 

An article in the online San Francisco Chronicle titled, “The Benefits of Eating Potato Skins” claims that they have high levels of vitamins C and B-6, thiamin, niacin, iron, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. 

Unfortunately, the complaint alleges that the TGI Friday’s products do not contain any actual potato skins, because the ingredient panels list only “potato flakes” and “potato starch.” 

Might these ingredients themselves contain skins? No, the complaint says, because in the industrial production of both potato flakes and potato starch, the potatoes are peeled and the skins are not processed further or “reintegrated into the production process;” they are considered waste.

The complaint asserts that federal, agency regulations, and state laws all forbid misleading labeling as a practice known as misbranding. The complaint quotes the US Code as saying that a food is considered misbranded “[i]f it is an imitation of another food, unless its label bears, in type of uniform size and prominence, the word ‘imitation’ and, immediately thereafter, the name of the food imitated.” 

State laws often incorporate or mirror federal laws. The complaint lists laws in the fifty states and the District of Columbia that forbid unfair, deceptive, or misleading business practices

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