FDA Issues Warning to Whole Foods Market Due to Misbranded Items

Dec 23, 2020 10:29 PM EST | By Josh Summers (staff@foodworldnews.com)

FDA Issues Warning to Whole Foods Market
(Photo : Justin Heiman)
Two New York City Police Department Traffic Enforcement agents walk past the Whole Foods Market on April 14, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sends a letter of warning to Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey due to their company's engagement of placing misbranded food products for sale. 

Eat This Not That reports that the FDA is holding Whole Foods responsible for investigating and determining the causes of each violation, and also ensuring that similar violations are prevented in the future. 

The Counter adds that the FDA took this noteworthy step of sending a letter addressed directly to the company's CEO describing that the selling of food products with inaccurate allergen information is a pattern. 

Cause of Recall

The Food and Drug Administration includes in their warning letter to the company, some of the products that are available on their shelves such as Minestrone Soup, Raspberry Cheesecake, White Parkhouse Rolls, and Key Lime Tartlets, to have undeclared allergens as ingredients. 

The FDA letter also reads that the recalls show that the corporation engaged in a pattern of receiving and offering this misbranded product for sale. 

Read also: Genetically Engineered Pigs For Transplants And Food Gets FDA Approval

The Counter furthers that the FDA letter addressed to the company's CEO also states that the said products are just a fraction of Whole Foods' recalls in recent months. They add that the FDA does not send warning letters randomly because these kinds of letters are typically written to address serious concerns on repeated violations of the food safety law, to pressure food companies to shore up their standards.

Eat This Not That points out that grocery products are required to indicate all allergens in their product labels per the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. They add that currently, the list of allergens includes milk, fish, eggs, tree nuts, crustacean shellfish, soybeans, wheat, and peanuts. 

The Federal agency's warning letter also adds that the receipt in interstate commerce of any food, device, drug, cosmetic, or tobacco product tat is misbranded is subject for pay or otherwise a prohibited act or a crime section 301(C) of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.  The FDA also points out in their letter that it is the company's responsibility to ensure that their firm complies with all the requirements of the federal law and other implementing regulations. 

The warning letter also notes that if the company fails to correct the violations they committed, FDA's enforcement action without notice such as seizure or injunction may be the result. 

Whole Foods' response

In a request for comment, the counter notes that Whole Foods spokesperson shares with them that Whole Foods Market takes food safety very seriously.

They add that their company is working in close ties with the Food and Drug Administration in ensuring all practices and procedures in their stores if not exceed food safety requirements.

They further in The Counter that maintaining the highest quality standards in the industry is their utmost priority. 

With this warning, the FDA gave Whole Foods about 15 working days upon the company receives the letter which includes specific steps they will do to address the said violations. 

Related article: FDA Decides To Stop Regulating French Dressing

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