October 26, 2016

Food Safety Issues Prompt FDA Warning Letter to Whole Foods North Atlantic Kitchen

Food safety violations at the Whole Foods North Atlantic Kitchen in Everett, Mass. are serious enough that food made there is considered adulterated, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the company in a warning letter dated June 8, 2016. Among the agency’s finding at the facility was a positive tests for non-pathogenic Listeria on food contact surfaces.  The finding shows conditions inside the facility would support the presence and growth of Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen, the agency said.

Under the Food and Drug Act, foods are considered adulterated if they “were prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health.” In addition to finding non-pathogenic Listeria, the agency found: food was prepared or stored in open containers under ceiling joints where condensate was dripping; failure to sanitize and thoroughly dry food contact surfaces; failure to protect food and food-contact surfaces from contamination with chemicals, filth and extraneous materials; failure to maintain proper water temperature at handwashing stations; and failure to label toxic sanitizing agents.

The company has 15 days from the the day it received the letter to respond to the FDA with changes it has made to address the problems.

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