AUSTIN, TX – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently sent Austin-based Whole Foods a warning letter accusing the retailer of participating in a sample of receiving and selling products that did not reveal allergens to customers.
The letter sent by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last Wednesday states that the agency analyzed recall patterns before focusing on the history of food recalls by the retailer. “These recalls show that your company has a pattern of receiving and selling misbranded food,” wrote William A. Correll Jr., director of the Office of Compliance Center for the Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Agency. “For the period from October 2019 to November 2020, your company recalled 32 food products due to undeclared allergens.”
Correll Jr. said the retailer’s recalls were all unbranded products, citing regulatory compliance sections to back his point. The product labels that were involved in the recalls, he added. “… could not declare all the important food allergens contained in the products.” He gave specific examples of food recalls at Whole Foods:
- The Whole Foods Market Minestrone Soup recall was sold in either clear plastic containers of various weights or clear plastic bags weighing 7 pounds. 12 ounces, for undeclared milk. “In the documentation included in your April 21, 2020 email to the Human and Animal Food Office’s Callback Coordinator, West Division, you stated that the wrong labeling occurred because your internal labeling system for the Food repackaging has not been updated to reflect the current ingredient listing for the product, “wrote FDA officials.
- Whole Foods Market Recall Raspberry Cheesecake Italian Gelato 1 pint (473 ml) packed in a clear plastic container for undeclared egg. “In the documentation attached to your email to the Human and Animal Foods Department 3 recall coordinator dated December 4, 2019, you indicated that your contract manufacturer made an Italian gelato product with shortbread and sweet cream with the wrong Italian one Gelato packaged with raspberry cheesecake has label giving the product the wrong ingredient declaration and the undeclared egg. “
- The Recall of Whole Foods Market White Parkerhouse Rolls NET WT. 340 g (0 lb 12 oz) packed in a clear plastic bag, 12 rolls per bag, due to undeclared milk and eggs. “In the documentation enclosed with your email to the Human and Animal Foods Division 3 recall coordinator dated October 28, 2019, you stated that the mislabeling occurred because your retail staff put a label on that did not the listing of ingredients on the manufacturer reflects this resulted in the product having undeclared milk and eggs. “
- The Recall of Chantilly Key Lime Tartlets Net Wt 1 oz. Due to undeclared almonds, individually packaged in plastic clamshell containers with Whole Foods Market-scale labels. “In the documentation contained in your email dated July 28, 2020 to the recall coordinator of the Office for Human and Animal Food, Division West, you stated that the incorrect labeling occurred because the ingredient declaration was almond flour on the main carton was not completely transferred to the scale label used for each container. “
- Whole Foods Market’s recall El Trigal 12 month old Manchego, El Trigal 6 month old Manchego, Mitica Cordobes, Artequeso Manchego 6 month old raw milk – 60 days or older, La Marquesa Herb Manchego raw milk – 60 days or more, Mitica La Dama Sagrada Raw milk – 60 days or longer, Chimay beers, IL FORTETO Genovese Pesto, Chimay Grand Cru, Lactalis MIMOLETTE, 12 months, Mitica Mahon and Agriform Piave Vecchio, individually cut cheese in plastic wrap with a scale label on top. “In the documentation attached to your August 21, 2020 email to the West Human and Animal Food Office Callback Coordinator, Department 3, you stated that the mislabeling occurred because not all of your regions are theirs Updated the ingredient information on the scale to include the egg allergen, which resulted in the product having undeclared eggs, “Correll wrote.
The official noted that the examples did not constitute a comprehensive list of violations and recalled the log: “It is your responsibility to investigate and determine the causes of the above violations and to prevent their recurrence or the occurrence of other violations.” wrote. “It is your responsibility to ensure that your company meets all requirements of federal law and regulations. You should take immediate action to correct any violations identified in this letter, if they have not already been corrected.”
Failure to promptly correct the violations could lead to FDA enforcement actions, including seizure and / or restraining order, without further notice, Correll wrote, giving the company 15 days to respond to the allegations.
Patch reached out to Whole Foods for comment, and a spokesperson made the following statement: “Whole Foods Market takes food safety very seriously. We work closely with the FDA to ensure that all practices and procedures in our Stores meet, if not exceed, food safety requirements We remain committed to maintaining the highest quality standards in the industry. ”