Whole Foods to Strengthen Food Safety Oversight in Wake of Recall

In the wake of a recall involving ground beef from its stores that appeared to have sickened some customers in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, Whole Foods Markets said this week that it would tighten its oversight of suppliers to keep inferior products out of its stores.

The plant, owned by Nebraska Beef, was found to be the source of ground beef that sickened customers around the country, according government reports.

While a code stamped on beef packages arriving at Whole Foods stores reflected the change in processing plants, the grocer said it did not have procedures in place at the time to watch the codes on arriving meat packages and failed to notice the change, according to a report in The New York Times.

New procedures are being instituted immediately to detect any similar changes in the future, Whole Foods said.

The grocer will also conduct a broad review of its procedures for approving suppliers and examining product quality, said Libba Letton, Whole Foods spokeswoman. E.coli testing of beef beyond what is required by the government will also be required by Whole Foods.

Whole Foods pointed out in a press release that only about 4 percent of the 1.2 million pounds of beef recalled was destined for its stores in 23 states and the District of Columbia, with the majority of meat going to other retailers including Fred Meyer, King Soopers, and City Market, all owned by Kroger; and Dorothy Lane.
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