On June 8th, the FDA sent a letter to a Whole Foods manufacturing facility in Massachusetts for violating several of their regulations for “manufacturing, packing, or holding human food”. Calling the violations “serious” at the WFM North Atlantic Kitchen in Everett, the FDA itemized numerous specific failures on the part of the grocery store chain to “manufacture, package and store foods under conditions and controls necessary to minimize the potential for growth of microorganisms and contamination.”

I’m all for grocery stores doing what they are supposed to do, to make their environment as healthy as possible, but I’m wondering if the FDA cares this much about all grocery stores- or just the ones that sell non-GMO, organic foods. Hmmm.


The letter addressed:

  • condensation dripping from ceiling joints over uncovered ready-to-eat foods
  • employee hand washing issues
  • higher than recommended per acetic acid levels in faucets for washing vegetables and
  • soiled dishes and equipment.

While the FDA has acknowledged that Whole Foods responded to the February inspection observations, the FDA wasn’t impressed with WFMs pledge that “senior leadership is committed to take all the necessary measures to correct all the deficiencies.”

From the WTP letter:

“FDA has serious concerns that our investigators found your firm operating under these conditions. Further, your response includes retraining of employees as a corrective action for most of the observed violations but you failed to mention adequate supervision over your specialized food processing operations and how retraining will ensure sustained compliance,” the letter states.

Ken Meyer, global vice president of operations for Whole Foods Market, says that Whole Foods has addressed and corrected each of the FDA identified issues, stayed in close contact with the FDA, AND opened their doors to regular inspectors since February, working to address every issues brought to their attention, and yet- all to no avail. Should I propose my question again?

“The thorough and tangible steps that were taken in the North Atlantic Kitchen to address each of these points were not reflected in the FDA’s follow-up letter and we have contacted them to discuss the matter”, reports WTN.

According to the FDA’s letter, Whole Foods has 15 days to notify them, in writing, of the specific solutions they are proposing to the violations. In addition, WFM may have to pay the costs of any necessary re-inspection. That sounds fair, right?

Source: Washington’s Top News