Whole Foods, the popular chain of healthy grocery stores in the United States, recently had to deal with a major health issue after federal inspectors found that the corporation’s Massachusetts plant committed “serious violations.”
These kinds of prepared foods have become increasingly popular among consumers on the go, as more and more people simply don’t want to take the time to cook their own meals. Additionally, the prepared meals are important for grocery stores like Whole Foods because they come with extremely high profit margins.
During an inspection of a plant that supplies ready-to-eat meals and food products to Whole Foods grocery stores throughout the Northeast part of the country, federal regulators discovered a host of safety and health violations that made the food products potentially unsafe for consumption.
The company’s violations included things like keeping dirty dishes in the general vicinity of the food, having employees wash their hands at sinks that did not provide hot water, and failing to separate cleaning areas from areas where couscous, salad dressing, and other food items were prepared.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ultimately decided to send a letter to Whole Foods executives. The letter warned the company to take immediate steps to ensure that the Massachusetts plant was not manufacturing and subsequently distributing contaminated food products.
By the end of June, said a Whole Foods company spokesperson, the health violations at the plant had already been corrected. Ken Meyer, the executive vice president of operations for Whole Foods, went even further in an emailed statement, saying that the company has been working with the FDA since February “to address every issue brought to our attention.”
However, the FDA countered the optimistic sentiment expressed by Whole Foods in a different letter. This letter castigated Whole Foods, calling the company’s response to the health code violations “inadequate” and questioning the grocery chain’s failure to provide precise details about exactly what steps it planned to take going forward to supervise food processing at the plant. Moreover, noted the FDA, Whole Foods had failed to provide official documentation for the federal agency to review.
For additional information, check out the Yahoo.com article, “Whole Foods Must Clean Up Its Act, FDA Says.”
If you or a loved one has suffered an illness as a result of contaminated food or a serious injury due to use of a defective product, you should speak with a qualified product liability attorney immediately. The experienced, knowledgeable personal injury and product liability lawyers at Lombardi & Lombardi can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Edison, Brick or Freehold, NJ.