Whole Foods Accused of Serious Violations: Serious violations were discovered by the federal regulators during an inspection in February of a Massachusetts plant of Whole Foods Market Inc. that supplies ready-to-eat products across the Northeast. Whole Foods Market Inc. has time till end of June to address the stated violations.
Whole Foods Accused of Serious Violations
Whole Foods Market Inc.:
Prepared foods have become a significant part of what grocers offer given the higher profit margins and the increasing desire of the consumers to eat ready meals. Whole Foods has been offering prepared foods in its stores since quite some time now. Its new chain, that is geared towards the younger, price-savvy shoppers, 365 by Whole Foods Market, also lay emphasis in-store dining.
A Warning Letter from FDA:
The U.S Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to the chief executives of the company, dated 8th June, 2016 stating that the company had failed to manufacture, package and store food in the ways that are recommended to reduce the potential for contamination and growth of microorganism.
List of Problems:
FDA gave a list of problems that they encountered during the inspection of the plant. They included in their list foods like pesto pasta and mushroom quesadillas were found to be prepared or stored in such places where condensation was dripping from a doorway, ceilings and a fan. Moreover, they inspection report said that the company kept the dirty dishes near food, and that they did not supply hot water at some hand-washing sinks and also allowed the use of high-pressure hoses for cleaning to spray into the areas where foods like salad dressing and couscous were being prepared.
The previous year, the company recalled batches of its classic deli pasta salad and curry chicken salad from stores located along the East Coast after these products gave positive tests for a dangerous form of listeria during an inspection as in routine of its Massachusetts facility.
A spokeswoman at Whole Foods said that the company has corrected each of the issues that were identified in an earlier warning letter from FDA in February, and that the company was surprised that these thorough and tangible steps were not reflected in the letter that has been issued in June.
Ken Meyer, the Executive Vice President of Operations at Whole Foods Market Inc. stated that the company has been in close contact with the FDA and has opened their doors to the inspectors regularly since initial inspection in February. Moreover, he said that that company has worked with them to address every issue brought to their attention.
FDA stated in its June letter that the previous response from the company was inadequate and it added that the company has failed to mention steps that it would take for supervising food processing operations and the compliance going forward. According to FDA, Whole Foods also did not provide documentation for review.