Vegan Bakery Allegedly Sold Repackaged Dunkin'

The potential doughnut fraud is unwelcome news for vegans and those with food allergies.

A bakery on Long Island is getting a lot of heat for allegedly supplying a local market with "vegan" "gluten-free" doughnuts that were neither GF nor vegan—these doughnuts, in fact, just might have been purchased at Dunkin' and resold in different packaging. As much as people make fun of vegans for being particular and sometimes self-righteous, in my experience most are just trying to live their lives the way they want to. Some people, meanwhile, have severe food allergies or conditions like Celiac disease and need to be vigilant about what they eat. In either case, an alleged doughnut scam like this could have a lot of legal ramifications for the perpetrator.

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Savory Fig is a well-known vegan and gluten-free bakery in Long Island which, until this incident, regularly supplied baked goods to Cindysnacks vegan market in Huntington, New York. As someone who frequently travels among people with dietary restrictions, I know the joy someone feels when they find food they can actually eat on offer at a store or restaurant. Spotting a recognizable and reputable company name is both exciting and comforting to people whose restrictions aren't always catered to.

The Washington Post reports that New York health authorities are looking into Savory Fig following the incident in which the owner of Cindysnacks noticed one doughnut in the delivery of GF pastries was decorated differently than the others. This one had distinctive orange and pink sprinkles, each shaped like a miniature "D." Concerned, the market ordered a gluten test (which looks exactly like a COVID test but can detect the presence of gluten in a substance) and found that, yes, the doughnut with the "D" sprinkles was indeed glutenous—and though its origins remain unconfirmed, it might have come from Dunkin'.

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Many people with Celiac disease can't even risk eating something that has made contact with gluten, so even one imposter doughnut can ruin the bunch. That said, it's possible that all the doughnuts were imposters: Dunkin' does not make vegan doughnuts at this time, and doughnuts are not listed on its dairy-free menu. Other common allergens in Dunkin's doughnuts include soy, wheat, and egg. What's more, people with severe food allergies can't eat things that are prepared in the same kitchen environment as allergen-containing products.

Cindysnacks posted the story and a photo of the D-sprinkled doughnut on Instagram along with screenshots of alleged text messages between the two vendors in which Savory Fig's owner denies supplying Dunkin', followed by photos of the alleged positive gluten detection test.

"There is a certain mutual trust and respect the vegan community, especially small businesses, have amongst ourselves," the Cindysnacks Instagram post read in part. "We are enraged that this trust and respect was broken and that we were unknowingly put in a position to perpetuate that betrayal."

The New York Division of Food Safety and Inspection and the county's Department of Health are currently investigating, and Savory Fig has not yet commented publicly on the issue.

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