Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

80 Comments

Comments

S Live says ...
What about Wild Oats peanutbutter - it was on sale as Wild Oats was phased out . . . recalled or not?
02/11/2009 2:41:08 PM CST
Stephanie says ...
I am trying to figure out if the grind your own peanut butter I have been eating is affected by the salmonella outbreak. I went to the USDA website and it says that Whole Foods Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Stock is on the list of recalled foods. I am disappointed that you cannot tell me which stores are affected, as a consumer I do not want to HAVE to do research to know if my food is safe, that should be your job. Especially when on your website logo it says, "Whole Foods - Selling the Highest Quality Natural and Organic Products." You should be able to tell me whether or not the products I eat from your stores were affected or not.
02/11/2009 3:02:57 PM CST
WFshopper says ...
I am fully devoted to Whole Foods and will forever be a shopper. What people dont realize is that WFs has promised us natural and organic foods made from the highest quality ingredients. Guess what- we believe them, just like WFs believed brands like Kashi were honorable, just like Kashi believed the factory where they were getting their nuts etc. were of good quality. Whole Foods has done its part to update us every day on products that have recalled to keep their customers healthy and pulled bad products off the shelves. Some one has been on here to answer our questions and concerns. Are you going to find that somewhere else?.. I do not think so. While this is a serious problem, we need to hold our selves responsible too for relying so heavily on WFS. Nothing is guarenteed.. ever. People are just always looking for someone to blame.
02/11/2009 3:11:15 PM CST
Missy says ...
I'm really surprised that so many people are complaining about Whole Foods not being on top the peanut butter recall. Sorry, but I'm siding with Whole Foods on this one. I expect WF to carry organic and all-natural products. I'm not sure what procedures they have in place when "qualifying" a vendor as one that will have their products carried in their stores, but I'm sure there are processes in place to ensure this. What I do know is that PCA LIED on more than one occasion and KNOWINGLY shipped peanut butter and pb products that showed positive signs of salmonella in them. PCA is the greedy one in all of this - they are the ones RESPONSIBLE for the deaths and sickness that have run across this country. And as we know in the past scares with baby formula, dog food, beef, bagged spinach (organic as well), the processes used by the manufacturing and PROCESSING plants are the ones that need to be updated and policed. If I buy a product, and it's good, and I continue to buy it, my trust in that product increases. If I get a bad batch of product then, is it the grocer's fault or the manufacturer's fault? Sorry people, grow up. Whole Foods has it's processes and procedures in place to ensure, to the best of their ability, the safety and goodness of the products they SELL - they don't make them. Where was the oversight from the companies that make the products (Kellogg's, General Mills, etc) and thus rake in the money? Check the FDA recall list yourself, there's alot of well-known, well-loved products on there, and not just products that WF's carries. I shop exclusively at WF for some products, and I get organic products from my grocery-store chain for a little cheaper - but the variety and quality of the foods I purchase at WF SURPASSES those of my neighborhood Walmart, Aldi, Publix, Alberson's, Winn-Dixie. So I shop around for the best PRODUCT, not necessarily the cheapest. And I will continue to shop at WF because it offers the best organic and natural foods in one place that I can find in my town.
02/11/2009 3:32:21 PM CST
Nate says ...
@ Missy, WF Shopper.. Have you read these things??? These are tools WF uses to market their store to be better than the others. They should live up to these tenets.. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values/corevalues.php#suppliers http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/sourcing.php Here are some quotes. I would love some clarification from Paige regarding how WF has followed these processes in this situation: "We grade our suppliers on their quality performance. We look at customer complaints, testing results and inspection results and actually write a scorecard for every supplier. Their grades determine whether we need to increase our level of supervision with the supplier and require that they conduct additional inspections or testing on their products." "Our standards are the strongest and continuously improving. In an effort to continually improve processes, we have a senior leadership council dedicated to keeping current on the latest quality assurance developments and challenges. * Whole Foods Market takes quality very seriously. We have regular meetings with senior executives that represent our Quality Assurance, Legal, Operations and Procurement teams to discuss and systematically solve the quality challenges we face. Projects are assigned and resources are allocated for quality improvement based on the findings of the Council. * One recent innovation is our Supply Chain Code of Practice (SCCOP). SCCOP is an exclusive food safety code that embodies our desire to work with our suppliers to assure the safety of our products and full transparency in our supply chain."
02/11/2009 3:45:40 PM CST
Nate says ...
BTW I am not saying that others are not mostly responsible for the problem here too, but if a store specifically markets themselves a certain way, then does not live up to these marketed standards, this is a form of false advertising, so you should understand my frustration. Let me also reiterate, I am generally a supporter of WF - I do not shop anywhere else and applaud them for many things they do, but for this reason - I demand they live up to their own expectations.
02/11/2009 3:50:59 PM CST
hsiaw says ...
@S Live We've contacted the manufacturer of the Wild Oats brand of peanut butter and have received assurance that this product is not part of the recall.
02/11/2009 4:52:01 PM CST
hsiaw says ...
@Stephanie Many of our purchasing decisions are made on individual store and regional levels. To this end, the best way to get fast, accurate information on certain items involved in this recall is to contact the store directly. You can find their contact information here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores or if you'd like me to contact them on your behalf, you can tell me the name of store where you purchased the Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and I'll reach out to their grocery team for you.
02/11/2009 4:54:58 PM CST
Phillip says ...
I totally agree with Nate. Some of you are making my point for me. You all keep saying "Everyone is affected, how can WF be held accountable?" and all we keep saying is that WF is supposed to be different, "supposed to" being the operative phrase. WF isn't supposed to just trust a manufacturer when they say they are organic or any other thing. As Nate pointed out, they are supposed to do their own homework. Again, this isn't limited to the PCA issue. As mentioned before, Coleman Natural Beef distributed tainted meat through WF as recently as last year. The fact that they aren't different in many circumstances if the source of our protest. But like Nate and most of you, I have been an ardent supporter and advocate of WF. And yes, I know I am acting like a jilted lover, but I am now coming to grips with the fact that WF are too big to live up to their loftiest ideals. Additionally, for those who live in areas where there may not be other choices for healthier food alternatives, I get your point; WF on its worst day is better than many others. I live in the DC metro area and WF is not the only choice for large selection organic, wholesome products, not by a long shot. So, yes we are blessed with choice. But this is why WF needs to do more than just a little bit in this crisis. It's a tough business and in tough financial times losing customers to competition for lack of effort is just stupid. To restore some faith in its customers, WF should take the lead on insisting that the Federal Government enact stronger legislation and oversight in the organic food arena, given that customers pay a premium for the designation organic and all that this term implies and all that it means to WF. Because clearly whatever system is in place is a near total failure. (In the last 12 months tainted spinach, meats, tomatoes and now peanut products).
02/11/2009 10:13:21 PM CST
katharine says ...
Here is what I don't understand-How can some ORGANIC products be on the recall list????
02/12/2009 1:25:11 AM CST
Shannon says ...
Everybody needs to keep in mind. The recall list is growing everyday. The items that are currently "not" on the recall list still may "end up" on the recall list. The safest thing to do for the time being is to avoid all peanut products. Especially for your children. It's hard I know. My 4 year old son's favorite thing to eat is PB&J. But better safe than sorry.
02/12/2009 3:38:07 AM CST
Katherine says ...
When will it be safe to begin eating Kashi chewy granola bars again? On the company website, a "Better if used by" date is given, but I would like confirmation that packages that display dates later than this one are all right to buy or keep. THanks.
02/12/2009 10:29:09 AM CST
hsiaw says ...
@Katherine We have removed the products that are known to be affected by the recall from our shelves. Beyond that, since Kashi is the manufacturer, they will be the ones who can provide you more answers about the safety of their bars beyond that is publically stated on their website and the FDA website. You can find their direct contact information here: http://www.kashipeanutbutterrecall.com/ and the latest FDA recall updates here: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/brand_list.cfm?brand=Kashi%20TLC&cat=Snack%20Bar. Hope that addresses your concerns!
02/12/2009 1:13:45 PM CST
WFshopper says ...
So for people like Phillip and Nate - Is Whole Foods supposed to go around and make sure every company that supplies them food washes there hands? Bottom line is PCA lied... what a shocker that people in this world actually lie! Why dont you email Kashi, LUNA, Mojo or any other brand on that list to let them know how outraged you are. And as for being an honorable company I think how Whole Foods runs the compnay is pretty honorable and incomparable. For your information the USDA doesnt always care about the organic standards, if you picked up a book you would read that the USDA can easily call unorganic products "organic". They only care about Money here, which obviously is the same as PCA. Whole Foods is doing its part in picking up the peices for its "loyal" customers.
02/12/2009 3:18:35 PM CST
Phillip says ...
@WFshopper - For your information I HAVE CONTACTED OTHER COMPANIES. And just so you know the facts are, if you read a book, that WF is not incomparable. WF is, to quote a certain book, a facade. Do you really think WF isn't about the money?!? Who is being naive now? And yes, the USDA and OCIA are a joke, obviously. That is why I again say, WF as the largest "health food" supermarket in the country should take the lead in working with the new administration to devise a new way for our country to determine what is organic and how to better safeguard the food supply. This administration is open to this discussion, this I know to be a fact. As a final note, a proverb: To whom much is given, much is required. WF has built themselves into the leader in this field, they should lead the way.
02/12/2009 5:34:39 PM CST
Missy says ...
@Nate, Phillip, and Whole Foods Market Team Members... Nate & Phillip ~ points taken. I agree with you if a business touts itself as a leader in the field, they should then follow through on their promises to their customers to keep the INTEGRITY of their products at the highest levels. WFM Team Member: What is happening NOW within Corporate WFM to review processes for qualification of suppliers? Is there a strategy for reviewing current qualification practices, to tighten control and ensure that the suppliers REALLY are processing their products as they claim, to review inspection criteria, to re-evaluate qualification criteria, or re-qualify current suppliers? or is WFM in the "wait and see" mode? I'd like to be able to stand up for WFM as my main source of organic products, but I also see a need, as pointed out by others, for WFM to step up and make a committed and PUBLIC effort to rectify this problem. Can you provide any information on what is being done on the Corporate level?
02/12/2009 9:51:14 PM CST
WFshopper says ...
I said that "I think" WFs is incomparable.. after all this is a forum where people express there opinions. And in all honesty who isnt about the money?? Look at figures and other major companies that we have relied on to be honest with us. They've let us down and many never step forward and own up to it. The honorable thing about Whole Foods is that they have gone above and beyond to fix this problem as much as they can.This is where I respect them and continue my dedication as a shopper. I am done arguing about whose wrong or right here .. I am just so tired of people playing the blame game .. and I'll guarentee that any other natural food store you all shop at sells some of the recalled products!
02/13/2009 9:32:03 AM CST
Angry Organic Shopper says ...
Please add Cascadian farm Sweet and Salty bars, mixed nuts, pretzel and peanut butter, to the recall list. Although they are not listed on the FDA website, are not listed on the Cascadian Farm website and are not listed on the General Mills information line about their recalled products, they are indeed being volutarily recalled because some of the nut products used in Cascadian Farm products were sourced from the Peanut Company of America. I am glad that I was persistent enough to require verification from a person; otherwise I may have given tainted food to my children. Beware, just because an item is not on the FDA list or the company's website does not mean that it is safe. Be vigilant and protect yourself, to whatever extent that is possible. Good health wishes for all!
02/13/2009 12:30:01 PM CST
Nate says ...
@WFShopper... Actually the blame game is pretty important here considering it is people's LIVES we are playing with here! Don't fool yourself, this is a LIFE AND DEATH problem. Of course PCA lied, but I just get a little suspicious when a company that supplies/handles products for supergiants like Wal-Mart and other "no-name" brands also handle what is supposed to be "top-of-the-line" Organic products for "holier than thou" stores. Also, whats this we heard about failed inspections at PCA?? Cockroaches? Rodents? Other violations like dripping water from the ceiling?? These are things that should have been caught EARLIER before the products hit the shelves and the supplier officially dropped from supplying WF with products. AND! To keep with your point, other brands should have been removed from WF shelves until they cease usage of a supplier that has known health code violations as well. I would be interested to hear a timeline of these things including WF's response to why these things were not heeded/were unable to be heeded.
02/13/2009 1:56:19 PM CST
Sally says ...
As a small business owner (Simbree Energy Foods) and also an innocent victim of this recall I must say that none of us had any reason to believe that the pnb we were getting from PCA was not of the highest quality. We were sourcing the organic variety from a sub distributor. PCA is criminal in what they did, but we need to hold the FDA responsible for this too. They did not do their job. Because of this have put millions of people at risk not to mention the economic impact on small businesses.
02/13/2009 2:29:27 PM CST
KimK says ...
How about the peanut oil that seem to be contained in all of the Whole Foods' bulk nuts? (Roasted almonds, cashews, etc) Is peanut oil exempt from the recall? Thanks for your assistance-
02/14/2009 10:27:40 AM CST
snacksound says ...
I really hope this fiasco is over soon -- I miss the peanut Clif Bar flavors!
02/14/2009 8:17:04 PM CST
Nate says ...
Following the trail is vital. If you want to be in business selling organic and other "natural" products, you must know where the food you are selling comes from and everything about it! I believe at least WF claims this was their process, and it should be for a company doing this business at that size. But, any person in this industry is asking to be held to the highest standard by labeling their store as being "better" or more "natural" than the others. You can't market yourself that way, then say "woops" when something happens that shows you can't stand behind products you sell.
02/15/2009 9:27:04 AM CST
paig292 says ...
@KimK: Peanut oil has not been listed by the FDA as a product made by PCA and we haven't seen anything else to date that indicates it as being a concern with this recall.
02/16/2009 8:59:55 AM CST
paig292 says ...
@Nate and others: I just want you all to know that I am gathering your comments and questions to assist our quality assurance team in reviewing all aspects of how we handled this food safety crisis -- including communication with our customers about our processes. We do have processes in place for tracing our food sources and I believe your feedback will be taken into account as they review those processes in the coming weeks. But right now they are focused on the health of our customers and managing the food safety recalls. As soon as I have some information from them in response to your concerns about process, I'll let you know. I just didn't want you to think that your comments were being ignored. Also, just a quick reminder that we have comment posting guidelines http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/comment-posting-guidelines/ listing "no personal attacks" and "no flaming." Please keep your comments civil so they can be posted. Thanks!
02/16/2009 9:12:12 AM CST

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