Overview

Sarah Brew has a national reputation for effectively defending food industry clients against labeling and class action consumer fraud claims and representing food processors, distributors and retailers in foodborne illness and contamination cases and supply chain disputes. She also assists food and dietary supplement clients with compliance matters.

Food Litigation Defense

Sarah has served as national counsel in foodborne illness cases arising from many major outbreaks, involving products such as eggs, spinach, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, cantaloupe, peanut butter, beef products, poultry products and pet food. She has represented Fortune 500 food companies and retailers facing consumer fraud class actions challenging aspects of product labeling.

Food Regulatory Counseling

Sarah counsels and provides risk management advice to food and dietary supplement clients on labeling and regulatory compliance matters, including:

  • The Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Foodborne illness outbreaks, product recalls and reportable food registry events
  • FDA and USDA inspections and enforcement actions
  • Supply chain management and related contracts
  • Managing foodborne illness outbreaks
  • Food and menu labeling regulations
  • Marketing claim review and substantiation
  • Regulatory compliance programs and audits
  • Best practices for avoiding consumer fraud, Lanham Act and NAD actions

Credentials

Bar Admissions

Wisconsin
Minnesota

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Education

University of Minnesota Law School
J.D. magna cum laude, Order of the Coif (1990)

University of Minnesota
B.A. magna cum laude (1987)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • California Expands Slack Fill Safe Harbors
    The Recorder, co-author, November 2018
  • Crisis Management: How to Navigate a Crisis in the Age of Media
    Michigan State Global Food Law Conference, June 2018
  • Consumer Fraud Labeling Class Actions: What's Next?
    Moderator, 2016 Food & Agriculture National Conference, Faegre Baker Daniels, Minneapolis, May 2018
  • Co-Chair
    ACI Food Law Conference, Chicago, April 2018
  • Future CPG Industry Legal Challenges
    GMA Legal Conference, New Orleans, March 2018
  • US Food Safety Regulations: The FSMA Framework
    Food Lawyers Network International, Rotterdam, November 2017
  • Current Perspectives in Food Safety
    International Association of Food Protection, Tampa, July 2017
  • Class Actions Procedure Update - Substantive Claims: Slackfill, Added Sugar, and Beyond
    CLE International 2nd Annual Food Law Conference, Austin, May 2017
  • Dietary Supplement Litigation Trends: An Overview and Preview of What May Be Coming Soon for Foods
    Panelist, ABA Section of Litigation Food & Supplements, New York, June 2016
  • Consumer Fraud Labeling Class Actions: Turning the Tide
    Moderator, 2016 Food & Agriculture National Conference, Faegre Baker Daniels, Indianapolis, May 2016
  • Future Legal Challenges in the Food, Beverage and Consumer Products Industry
    GMA Legal Conference, Rancho Mirage, February 2016
  • Mock Settlement Negotiation —  Plaintiff and Defendant Attorneys Debate When and How to Settle a Food-Borne Illness Personal Injury Claim
    Co-Chair and Presenter, ACI's 4th Advanced Summit on Defending Food & Beverage Consumer Fraud Litigation, January 2016
  • Third Party Contract Risks: How to Protect Your Company From Liability and Ensure Regulatory Compliance
    Food Marketing Institute, 2015 Legal Conference, March 2015
  • Food Labeling Class Actions and Strategies for Dealing With and Preventing Litigation
    FDLI Food Advertising: Claims, Litigation and Strategies Conference, New York, October 2014
  • Tackling the Communication Conundrum: Coordinating Legal, Marketing and R&D Teams to Ensure a Consistent and Compliant Message From Start to Finish
    Momentum Conferences: The Food and Beverage Marketing  and Advertising Law Summit, September 2014
  • How to Avoid the Pitfalls of GMO Labeling and Litigation
    American Conference Institute, Food & Beverage Marketing and Advertising, July 2014
  • Turning the Tide on Labeling Consumer Fraud Class Actions
    Moderator, Food & Agriculture National Conference, Faegre Baker Daniels, Minneapolis, May 2014
  • The Most Debated Issues in Food & Beverage Consumer Fraud Litigation: How the Latest Cases Impact Jurisdiction and the Definition of "Natural"
    Co-chair, American Conference Institute, Food & Beverage Consumer Fraud Litigation, San Francisco, January 2014
  • Food Labeling Class Actions: The Latest Damages Boon?
    Panelist, Strafford Seminar, October 2013

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association — Food & Supplements Subcommittee (Co-Chair, 2015-17)
  • American Law Institute (ALI)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) — Food and Dietary Supplements Committee
  • Food Lawyers Network International
  • International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association — Food and Drug Law Section Council
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers — Board of Directors, 2002-07; Secretary, 2004-05; Mentorship Committee, Co-chair, 1999-2002

Civic Activities

  • Midwest Art Conservation Center — Board of Directors, 2011-present
  • Touchstone Mental Health — Board of Directors, 2001-05

Firm Leadership

Sarah leads the firm's food litigation and regulatory practice, which is nationally ranked by Chambers USA, and is a leader of the firm's food and agribusiness industry group.

Honors

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal — Women in Business award, 2018
  • Acritas — Star Lawyer, 2018
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business — Food & Beverages: Regulatory & Litigation, 2013-18
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers — Class Action/Mass Tort, 2012-18
  • Who's Who in Product Liability Defence
  • Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rating: AV® Preeminent™; Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
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