Whole Foods has until the end of the month to clean up its act.
The Food and Drug Administration found “serious violations” during a February inspection of an Everett, Mass., plant, according to a June 8 letter sent to the company. Regulators are giving the grocer until the end of June to address its potential for contamination at the facility, North Atlantic Kitchen.
In its letter, the FDA found various ready-to-eat items, including pesto pasta, mushroom quesadillas, egg salad and couscous were prepared or stored uncovered in areas where “condensate”was leaking from ceiling joints, a doorway and a condenser fan.
Other violations include keeping dirty dishes near food, storing containers and utensils near hand-washing stations with splash guards, failure of employees to wash hands between cleaning and handling food items, employees washing hands in sinks without hot water, and one employee who sprayed an ammonium-based sanitizer on a colander of leafy greens.
In a statement to ABC News, Whole Foods claims it addressed and corrected the issues outlined in the FDA’s letter.
“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.”
Ken Meyer, global vice president of the upscale grocery chain says they were “surprised.”
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,” Meyer said.