Whole Foods Warned by the Food and Drug Administration
Add Whole Foods Market Inc. to the recent list of major companies failing to follow proper compliance in manufacturing, packaging and storing food.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to Whole Foods executives on June 8, stating the company’s failures to meet minimum food safety requirements during an inspection of a Massachusetts plant that supplies ready-to-eat products across the Northeast. The failed inspection revealed Whole Foods’ inability to manufacture, package, and store food in ways that reduce the potential for contamination and microorganism growth.
FDA inspectors found a long list of violations at the Massachusetts plant including; pesto pasta and mushroom quesadillas being prepared or stored in places where condensation was dripping from the ceilings, a doorway, and a fan. The FDA also noted that the company kept dirty dishes near food, didn’t supply hot water at some hand-washing sinks and allowed high-pressure hoses used for cleaning to spray into areas where foods like couscous and salad dressing were being prepared.
Whole Foods has announced that the company has corrected the problems and has opened its doors to FDA inspectors to regularly monitor compliance.
Last year, Whole Foods recalled batches of curry chicken salad and deli pasta from stores along the East Coast after products tested positive for a dangerous form of listeria during a routine inspection of its Massachusetts facility.
The FDA, in its letter to Whole Foods, said the company’s previous response was inadequate, adding that the company failed to mention steps it would take to supervise food processing operations and compliance going forward. Whole Foods did not provide documentation for inspectors to review.
The FDA summarized the letter to Whole Foods by saying, “your firm should consider improving your environmental monitoring program to verify the adequacy of your cleaning and sanitation operation.”
Zerion Reimagines Environmental Food Safety Programs
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Experts estimate that food borne illnesses cost Americans $55 billion every year. Zerion Food Safety Compliance Monitoring is taking a bite out of hazardous food safety violations for enterprise customers.
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FDA inspectors follow rigorous guidelines to ensure the safety of our food supply chain. Damaging PR has proven disastrous for Whole Foods and Chipotle who are seeing their largest declines in profits in years. Enterprise food distribution companies must put food safety compliance at the forefront of operations.