Whole Foods Just Got a Seriously Scary Warning Letter From the FDA

Hazmat or healthy? The FDA issued a very scary warning letter to Whole Foods on Tuesday that may make many consumers’ stomachs turn.

According to the letter (you can read it in full here), a New England food-prep facility run by the chain had some very serious violations that the FDA spotted when they visited over the course of five days during the month of February.

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Among them: A ceiling dripping condensation on to several prepared foods, an employee who inadvertently sprayed “ammonium-based sanitizer” on ready-to-eat mesculin salad and some handling of "exposed product without hand-washing or changing gloves in between tasks.” 

There was also evidence of listeria—a potentially deadly bacteria—on equipment.

Whole Foods has since said they’ve corrected these issues and were surprised by this recent letter. “We’ve been in close contact with the FDA, opened our doors to inspectors regularly since February and worked with them to address every issue brought to our attention,” said Ken Meyer, the company’s executive vice president of operations, in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

4 Comments
  • Cathy
    Posted on

    I NEVER eat prepared "open" food - ANYWHERE.

  • Baron
    Posted on

    And? Which stores were affected? Trying to sensationalize this to a national level or would that be truthful? Or just a local thing' perhaps confined to a single location or two?

  • El
    Posted on

    This happens everywhere... not just Whole Foods. I refuse to have a cashier ring me up if he/she is picking at the scalp, eyes, nose, mouth or ears--something I have seen cashiers at every grocery store I've ever been to. In fact, a particularly unhygienic cashier was vigorously rubbing her nose and I said I wanted the other cashier to help me, since what she was doing was disgusting. It took her aback, but I didn't back down. She might as well have been rubbing her nose on my hand, since she was going to hand me change with her snot-infested digits. I've also demanded cashiers to use hand sanitizer if I see them picking sebum out of their scalps (happens quite often). I make sure to use the words "disgusting" and "unclean" because I want them to feel shame and stop the behavior.

  • pamela Knapp
    Posted on

    I love Whole Foods. Mistakes happen everywhere, but agreeing to look into the issue is what counts.

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