Warning: if you are currently consuming pesto pasta or mushroom quesadillas from Whole Foods PUT YOUR LUNCH DOWN. Reports have come to light regarding a gross FDA inspection out of a Massachusetts plant that produces prepared foods for Whole Food stores throughout the Northeast including (dun dun DUN): New York City.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the FDA's findings:
On a long list of problems, FDA inspectors said they found foods like pesto pasta and mushroom quesadillas being prepared or stored in places where condensation was dripping from ceilings, a doorway and a fan.
It said the company kept dirty dishes near food, didn’t supply hot water at some hand-washing sinks and allowed high-pressure hoses used for cleaning to spray into areas where foods like couscous and salad dressing were being prepared.
The inspection, which occurred in February, covered the 70,000-square-foot facility that services 74 stores in eight states. The agency didn't find any pathogenic bacteria—like the listeria that prompted a Whole Foods recall of "Curry Chicken Salad" or "Classic Deli Pasta Salad" late last year—but even bacteria-free ceiling sludge is still...ceiling sludge.
A letter from earlier this month to Whole Foods executives revealed the FDA's dissatisfaction with the company's response, alleging Whole Foods didn't provide information regarding steps it would take to fix the issues or any documentation for the FDA. Executive vice president of operations for Whole Foods Market Ken Meyer countered those allegations in a statement, saying he was "surprised" the FDA found their responses lacking.
Whole Foods was given 15 days to respond to the latest letter, according to the Times, in which they'll need to supply things like photographic evidence of improvements made at the facility.