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Thread: WHOLE FOODS MARKET: Selling Tainted Beef From A Known "Tainted" BeefCompany?

  1. #1
    dillydally Guest

    Default WHOLE FOODS MARKET: Selling Tainted Beef From A Known "Tainted" BeefCompany?

    "Whole Foods Recalls Beef Processed At Plant Long at Odds With USDA"

    By Annys Shin and Ylan Q. Mui
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Sunday, August 10, 2008; A01



    Whole Foods Market pulled fresh ground beef from all of its stores
    Friday, becoming the latest retailer affected by an E. coli outbreak
    traced to Nebraska Beef, one of the nation's largest meatpackers. It's
    the second outbreak linked to the processor in as many months.

    The meat Whole Foods recalled came from Coleman Natural Foods, which
    unbeknownst to Whole Foods had processed it at Nebraska Beef, an Omaha
    meatpacker with a history of food-safety and other violations.
    Nebraska Beef last month recalled more than 5 million pounds of beef
    produced in May and June after its meat was blamed for another E. coli
    outbreak in seven states. On Friday it recalled an additional 1.2
    million pounds of beef produced on June 17, June 24 and July 8, which
    included products eventually sold to Whole Foods. The recall is not
    related to the recent spate of E. coli illnesses among Boy Scouts at a
    gathering in Goshen, Va.

    Whole Foods officials are investigating why they were not aware that
    Coleman was using Nebraska Beef as a processor, spokeswoman Libba
    Letton said.

    The chain's managers took action after Massachusetts health officials
    informed them Aug. 1 that seven people who had gotten sick from E.
    coli O157:H7 had all bought ground beef from Whole Foods. The same
    strain has sickened 31 people in 12 states, the District and Canada.

    So far, tests have not found contaminated Whole Foods beef, Letton
    said.

    That was small comfort yesterday to some shoppers at the Whole Foods
    on P Street NW.

    "I shop here because the standards are higher, so yes, this really
    concerns me," said Harry Harrison, 43, a District resident who shops
    almost exclusively at Whole Foods and buys beef at the store about
    once a week.

    This latest outbreak was first identified in late July among customers
    of Dorothy Lane Market, a small Ohio grocery chain. Dorothy Lane also
    bought meat from Coleman Natural Foods, which bought primal cuts --
    meat intended for steaks and roasts -- from Nebraska Beef. The E. coli
    strain found in the Massachusetts Whole Foods customers matches that
    Ohio strain.

    Nebraska Beef, which continues to operate, had already been under
    close scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Agriculture since late June.

    William M. Lamson Jr., a Nebraska Beef spokesman, said the company and
    the USDA had increased testing of its meat since then. It has found no
    E. coli O157:H7 in products made since July 8.

    He said that since June, Nebraska Beef has hired food safety
    consultants and undertaken an in-depth review of its processes. USDA
    is doing the same.

    "We will continue to investigate to see what is happening at the plant
    to see what they have to do to get a handle on their food-safety
    issues," said agency spokeswoman Laura Reiser.

    Nebraska Beef has a contentious history with the USDA. Over the past
    six years, federal meat inspectors have repeatedly written it up for
    sanitation violations, and the company has fought back in court.

    From September 2002 to February 2003, USDA shut down the plant three
    times for problems such as feces on carcasses, water dripping off
    pipes onto meat, paint peeling onto equipment and plugged-up meat wash
    sinks, according to agency records.

    After the third suspension, Nebraska Beef took USDA to court, arguing
    that another shutdown would put the company out of business. A judge
    agreed and temporarily blocked the department. The USDA and the
    company then settled out of court and inspections resumed. However,
    when federal meat inspectors found more violations, Nebraska Beef sued
    the department and the inspectors individually, accusing them of bias.
    The suit was later dismissed.

    In 2004 and early 2005, Nebraska Beef ran afoul of new regulations
    aimed at keeping animal parts that may be infected with bovine
    spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, out of the meat supply.
    Meat processors are required to remove certain high-risk parts, such
    as brains and spinal cords. Between July 2004 and February 2005,
    federal meat inspectors wrote up Nebraska Beef at least five times for
    not removing spinal cords and heads, according to USDA records
    obtained by Food and Water Watch, a Washington advocacy group. The
    company corrected the problems.

    In August 2006, federal meat inspectors threatened to suspend
    operations at the packing house for not following requirements for
    controlling E. coli. The company corrected the problem a week later,
    USDA records show.

    That year, Minnesota health officials blamed Nebraska Beef for
    sickening 17 people who ate meatballs at a church potluck in rural
    Minnesota. Several victims filed lawsuits against Nebraska Beef,
    including the family of a woman who died. The company last fall sued
    the church, arguing that the volunteer cooks did not cook the
    meatballs properly.

    Lamson said management has since asked that the suit be dropped.

    Given the history of violations, some consumer advocates question why
    the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service has
    not come down harder on the company.

    "It seems that FSIS is walking on eggshells when dealing with Nebraska
    Beef," said Food and Water Watch lobbyist Tony Corbo. "Instead, the
    agency keeps on coming up with Band-Aid approaches . . . while
    consumers keep on getting sick from eating products put into commerce
    by this company."

    "Companies are provided the opportunity to take corrective action,"
    USDA's Reiser said.

    Lamson said Nebraska Beef's relationship with regulators has changed.

    "We may have disagreed with USDA in the past, but we believe we have a
    very good relationship going forward . . . as exemplified by our
    cooperation and our voluntary recall," he said.

    The force behind Nebraska Beef is Nebraska businessman William Hughes.
    Hughes was a top executive at the now-defunct BeefAmerica. In 1997,
    the USDA yanked its inspectors from BeefAmerica's Norfolk, Neb., plant
    because of repeated sanitation violations, including contamination of
    meat with fecal matter. The company had to recall more than 600,000
    pounds of beef after the USDA traced E. coli O157:H7-tainted meat from
    a Virginia retailer to the Omaha packer. It filed for bankruptcy the
    following year.

    By then, Hughes was already part of a group of Nebraska Beef
    investors. The state gave the company additional financial support in
    the form of $7.5 million in tax credits under its Quality Jobs Act.
    Then-Gov. Ben Nelson (D), now a U.S. senator, sat on the three-member
    jobs board that approved the tax credits. Nelson's former law firm,
    Lamson, Dugan and Murray, represents Nebraska Beef.

    While state leaders welcomed Nebraska Beef and the jobs that came with
    it, residents who lived near the plant did not, and for more than a
    decade, they battled the company over manure strewn in the street and
    workers walking off the kill floor and into the local grocery store
    covered in cow splatter, said South Omaha resident Janet Bonet.

    Labor unions have also criticized Nebraska Beef over its labor
    practices. Since 1998, the company has had 47 workplace safety
    violations and paid more than $100,000 in fines, Occupational Safety
    and Health Administration records show. Lamson said most were not
    serious.

    In 2002, a National Labor Relations Board official voided a 2001 vote
    against unionizing Nebraska Beef employees. The NLRB official found
    that management interrogated workers about their union sympathies and
    threatened to fire, terminate benefits for or reassign employees who
    voted to unionize.

    Whole Foods Market said customers who bought ground beef between June
    2 and Aug. 6 should throw it out. They can return the packaging or
    receipt to the store for a refund.

    [Staff writer Sindya N. Bhanoo contributed to this report.]

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...080802821.html

  2. #2
    Jean B. Guest

    Default Re: WHOLE FOODS MARKET: Selling Tainted Beef From A Known "Tainted"Beef Company?

    dillydally wrote:
    > "Whole Foods Recalls Beef Processed At Plant Long at Odds With USDA"
    >
    > By Annys Shin and Ylan Q. Mui
    > Washington Post Staff Writers
    > Sunday, August 10, 2008; A01
    >
    >
    >
    > Whole Foods Market pulled fresh ground beef from all of its stores
    > Friday, becoming the latest retailer affected by an E. coli outbreak
    > traced to Nebraska Beef, one of the nation's largest meatpackers. It's
    > the second outbreak linked to the processor in as many months.
    >
    > The meat Whole Foods recalled came from Coleman Natural Foods, which
    > unbeknownst to Whole Foods had processed it at Nebraska Beef, an Omaha
    > meatpacker with a history of food-safety and other violations.
    > Nebraska Beef last month recalled more than 5 million pounds of beef
    > produced in May and June after its meat was blamed for another E. coli
    > outbreak in seven states. On Friday it recalled an additional 1.2
    > million pounds of beef produced on June 17, June 24 and July 8, which
    > included products eventually sold to Whole Foods. The recall is not
    > related to the recent spate of E. coli illnesses among Boy Scouts at a
    > gathering in Goshen, Va.
    >
    > Whole Foods officials are investigating why they were not aware that
    > Coleman was using Nebraska Beef as a processor, spokeswoman Libba
    > Letton said.
    >
    > The chain's managers took action after Massachusetts health officials
    > informed them Aug. 1 that seven people who had gotten sick from E.
    > coli O157:H7 had all bought ground beef from Whole Foods. The same
    > strain has sickened 31 people in 12 states, the District and Canada.
    >
    > So far, tests have not found contaminated Whole Foods beef, Letton
    > said.
    >
    > That was small comfort yesterday to some shoppers at the Whole Foods
    > on P Street NW.
    >
    > "I shop here because the standards are higher, so yes, this really
    > concerns me," said Harry Harrison, 43, a District resident who shops
    > almost exclusively at Whole Foods and buys beef at the store about
    > once a week.
    >
    > This latest outbreak was first identified in late July among customers
    > of Dorothy Lane Market, a small Ohio grocery chain. Dorothy Lane also
    > bought meat from Coleman Natural Foods, which bought primal cuts --
    > meat intended for steaks and roasts -- from Nebraska Beef. The E. coli
    > strain found in the Massachusetts Whole Foods customers matches that
    > Ohio strain.
    >
    > Nebraska Beef, which continues to operate, had already been under
    > close scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Agriculture since late June.
    >
    > William M. Lamson Jr., a Nebraska Beef spokesman, said the company and
    > the USDA had increased testing of its meat since then. It has found no
    > E. coli O157:H7 in products made since July 8.
    >
    > He said that since June, Nebraska Beef has hired food safety
    > consultants and undertaken an in-depth review of its processes. USDA
    > is doing the same.
    >
    > "We will continue to investigate to see what is happening at the plant
    > to see what they have to do to get a handle on their food-safety
    > issues," said agency spokeswoman Laura Reiser.
    >
    > Nebraska Beef has a contentious history with the USDA. Over the past
    > six years, federal meat inspectors have repeatedly written it up for
    > sanitation violations, and the company has fought back in court.
    >
    > From September 2002 to February 2003, USDA shut down the plant three
    > times for problems such as feces on carcasses, water dripping off
    > pipes onto meat, paint peeling onto equipment and plugged-up meat wash
    > sinks, according to agency records.
    >
    > After the third suspension, Nebraska Beef took USDA to court, arguing
    > that another shutdown would put the company out of business. A judge
    > agreed and temporarily blocked the department. The USDA and the
    > company then settled out of court and inspections resumed. However,
    > when federal meat inspectors found more violations, Nebraska Beef sued
    > the department and the inspectors individually, accusing them of bias.
    > The suit was later dismissed.
    >
    > In 2004 and early 2005, Nebraska Beef ran afoul of new regulations
    > aimed at keeping animal parts that may be infected with bovine
    > spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, out of the meat supply.
    > Meat processors are required to remove certain high-risk parts, such
    > as brains and spinal cords. Between July 2004 and February 2005,
    > federal meat inspectors wrote up Nebraska Beef at least five times for
    > not removing spinal cords and heads, according to USDA records
    > obtained by Food and Water Watch, a Washington advocacy group. The
    > company corrected the problems.
    >
    > In August 2006, federal meat inspectors threatened to suspend
    > operations at the packing house for not following requirements for
    > controlling E. coli. The company corrected the problem a week later,
    > USDA records show.
    >
    > That year, Minnesota health officials blamed Nebraska Beef for
    > sickening 17 people who ate meatballs at a church potluck in rural
    > Minnesota. Several victims filed lawsuits against Nebraska Beef,
    > including the family of a woman who died. The company last fall sued
    > the church, arguing that the volunteer cooks did not cook the
    > meatballs properly.
    >
    > Lamson said management has since asked that the suit be dropped.
    >
    > Given the history of violations, some consumer advocates question why
    > the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service has
    > not come down harder on the company.
    >
    > "It seems that FSIS is walking on eggshells when dealing with Nebraska
    > Beef," said Food and Water Watch lobbyist Tony Corbo. "Instead, the
    > agency keeps on coming up with Band-Aid approaches . . . while
    > consumers keep on getting sick from eating products put into commerce
    > by this company."
    >
    > "Companies are provided the opportunity to take corrective action,"
    > USDA's Reiser said.
    >
    > Lamson said Nebraska Beef's relationship with regulators has changed.
    >
    > "We may have disagreed with USDA in the past, but we believe we have a
    > very good relationship going forward . . . as exemplified by our
    > cooperation and our voluntary recall," he said.
    >
    > The force behind Nebraska Beef is Nebraska businessman William Hughes.
    > Hughes was a top executive at the now-defunct BeefAmerica. In 1997,
    > the USDA yanked its inspectors from BeefAmerica's Norfolk, Neb., plant
    > because of repeated sanitation violations, including contamination of
    > meat with fecal matter. The company had to recall more than 600,000
    > pounds of beef after the USDA traced E. coli O157:H7-tainted meat from
    > a Virginia retailer to the Omaha packer. It filed for bankruptcy the
    > following year.
    >
    > By then, Hughes was already part of a group of Nebraska Beef
    > investors. The state gave the company additional financial support in
    > the form of $7.5 million in tax credits under its Quality Jobs Act.
    > Then-Gov. Ben Nelson (D), now a U.S. senator, sat on the three-member
    > jobs board that approved the tax credits. Nelson's former law firm,
    > Lamson, Dugan and Murray, represents Nebraska Beef.
    >
    > While state leaders welcomed Nebraska Beef and the jobs that came with
    > it, residents who lived near the plant did not, and for more than a
    > decade, they battled the company over manure strewn in the street and
    > workers walking off the kill floor and into the local grocery store
    > covered in cow splatter, said South Omaha resident Janet Bonet.
    >
    > Labor unions have also criticized Nebraska Beef over its labor
    > practices. Since 1998, the company has had 47 workplace safety
    > violations and paid more than $100,000 in fines, Occupational Safety
    > and Health Administration records show. Lamson said most were not
    > serious.
    >
    > In 2002, a National Labor Relations Board official voided a 2001 vote
    > against unionizing Nebraska Beef employees. The NLRB official found
    > that management interrogated workers about their union sympathies and
    > threatened to fire, terminate benefits for or reassign employees who
    > voted to unionize.
    >
    > Whole Foods Market said customers who bought ground beef between June
    > 2 and Aug. 6 should throw it out. They can return the packaging or
    > receipt to the store for a refund.
    >
    > [Staff writer Sindya N. Bhanoo contributed to this report.]
    >
    > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...080802821.html


    Oh, so it's Coleman, is it? Guess I'm not turning to that brand then!

    --
    Jean B.

  3. #3
    dillydally Guest

    Default Re: WHOLE FOODS MARKET: Selling Tainted Beef From A Known "Tainted"Beef Company?

    REMEMBER Several Years Ago When a Rumor Had It That FOOD LION
    Routinely BLEACHED Its MEAT? To Make it Look Okay, Not Spoiled?




    Whether or not the rumor had any factual basis, it seemed to dampen
    Food Lion's meat sales. It's possible the company changed most if
    not all its stores to "BLOOM" just to get the Food Lion image out of
    the public eye.

    Well now Whole Foods might have its own lingering "meat problem." Is
    a name change in the works?

    ----------------------------
    "Grocer Works to Repair Its Image"

    "Whole Foods Tightens Inspection Rules After Beef Recall"

    By Ylan Q. Mui and Annys Shin
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, August 12, 2008; D01



    Whole Foods said yesterday that it is inspecting all shipments of meat
    and tightening its guidelines for suppliers following last week's
    recall of two months' worth of ground beef that potentially was
    contaminated with E. coli.

    The moves were part of the company's efforts to restore confidence in
    its products. The upscale grocer rose from a single store in Austin to
    a $6.6 billion company over the past three decades by betting on a
    singular corporate philosophy and business strategy: Shoppers are
    willing to pay more for natural and organic products. And with those
    high prices come high expectations.

    "We're quite upset as well. This is not how we have our protocol set
    up with our producers," said Margaret Wittenberg, Whole Foods global
    vice president for quality standards. "We already have very tight
    standards."

    Whole Foods recalled ground beef on Friday that was sold between June
    2 and August 6 after seven people in Massachusetts and two in
    Pennsylvania who shopped at its stores were infected by E. coli.
    Wittenberg said employees at distribution centers are now checking
    labels on all meat shipments to insure that it comes from approved
    processors. It is also requiring processors to inspect each box of
    shipped meat for contaminants, a previously unwritten expectation, the
    company said.

    The recalled meat was linked to Omaha meatpacker Nebraska Beef, which
    has recalled 6.5 million pounds of meat since July and has a long
    history of safety, health and labor violations. Whole Foods
    spokeswoman Libba Letton said one of its suppliers, Coleman Natural
    Beef, was seeking to work with Nebraska Beef following its sale to
    Meyer Natural Angus in June.

    Whole Foods said it had received assurances that none of its meat had
    been processed by Nebraska Beef. One of Whole Foods' buyers had
    visited Nebraska Beef's facilities, but the processor had not been
    approved when the recall occurred last week. Meyer Natural Angus did
    not return phone calls yesterday.

    "They're kind of a victim of their own success," Mark Kastel, co-
    founder of the Cornucopia Institute, which promotes sustainable and
    organic agriculture, said of Whole Foods.

    "They have to deal with large-scale suppliers. The infrastructure of
    that supply mechanism has the same potential for contamination as
    conventional meat."

    Whole Foods sets a high bar, positioning itself as more socially
    conscious than its competitors. It caps top executives' pay at 19
    times the average worker pay while chief executive John Mackey gets
    just $1 a year. It has been a leader in retailers' green movement,
    recently tightening its policies on farmed seafood, for example. Its
    hormone-free meats, antibiotic-free seafood and pesticide-free produce
    attract throngs of affluent shoppers.

    But those customers are often demanding. The company has been
    criticized for not stocking only organic produce and even for carrying
    sugar on its shelves. Mackey has famously defended the company as
    Whole Foods -- not holy foods.

    "This is a big blow to their reputation, obviously," said Gene
    Grabowski, chair of the crisis and litigation practice at Levick
    Strategic Communications. "We tend to look at Whole Foods not only as
    more nutritious but also safer, and we're willing to pay a premium for
    that."

    Whole Foods' Letton said the recalled beef was labeled as natural,
    which means it is free of artificial flavors and coloring but does not
    meet the more rigorous U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for
    organic. The company additionally prohibits meat suppliers from using
    growth hormones or antibiotics, among other requirements.

    Although the company's stock dipped slightly Friday, yesterday it
    rebounded, rising 5.8 percent to $19.73.

    Organic and conventional meat products are often processed in the same
    facility. USDA regulations stipulate that steps must be taken to
    prevent the commingling of organic and conventional product such as
    cleaning equipment.

    "Organic doesn't address food safety or nutrition," said Joan
    Schaffer, spokeswoman for USDA's National Organic Program.

    Ronnie Cummins, national director of the advocacy group Organic
    Consumers Association, said he is not overly concerned by the Whole
    Foods recall because it was an isolated incident. The company said it
    believes this is its first ground beef recall due to E.coli.

    "I must say I'm not surprised to see a single incident," Cummins said.
    "If it became a regular occurrence like it is with conventional beef,
    I think we'd be extremely concerned."

    Grabowski, who has handled public relations during large recalls for
    other companies, said Whole Foods must be transparent with its
    customers in order to repair its image but also suggested that
    shoppers temper their expectations.

    "From time to time, no matter what you do, there will be some
    incidents that arise," Grabowski said. "We do not live in a risk-free
    world."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...081102934.html

  4. #4
    Kswck Guest

    Default Re: WHOLE FOODS MARKET: Selling Tainted Beef From A Known "Tainted" Beef Company?


    "dillydally" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > REMEMBER Several Years Ago When a Rumor Had It That FOOD LION
    > Routinely BLEACHED Its MEAT? To Make it Look Okay, Not Spoiled?
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Whether or not the rumor had any factual basis, it seemed to dampen
    > Food Lion's meat sales. It's possible the company changed most if
    > not all its stores to "BLOOM" just to get the Food Lion image out of
    > the public eye.
    >
    > Well now Whole Foods might have its own lingering "meat problem." Is
    > a name change in the works?
    >
    > ----------------------------
    > "Grocer Works to Repair Its Image"
    >
    > "Whole Foods Tightens Inspection Rules After Beef Recall"
    >
    > By Ylan Q. Mui and Annys Shin
    > Washington Post Staff Writer
    > Tuesday, August 12, 2008; D01
    >
    >
    >
    > Whole Foods said yesterday that it is inspecting all shipments of meat
    > and tightening its guidelines for suppliers following last week's
    > recall of two months' worth of ground beef that potentially was
    > contaminated with E. coli.
    >
    > The moves were part of the company's efforts to restore confidence in
    > its products. The upscale grocer rose from a single store in Austin to
    > a $6.6 billion company over the past three decades by betting on a
    > singular corporate philosophy and business strategy: Shoppers are
    > willing to pay more for natural and organic products. And with those
    > high prices come high expectations.
    >
    > "We're quite upset as well. This is not how we have our protocol set
    > up with our producers," said Margaret Wittenberg, Whole Foods global
    > vice president for quality standards. "We already have very tight
    > standards."
    >
    > Whole Foods recalled ground beef on Friday that was sold between June
    > 2 and August 6 after seven people in Massachusetts and two in
    > Pennsylvania who shopped at its stores were infected by E. coli.
    > Wittenberg said employees at distribution centers are now checking
    > labels on all meat shipments to insure that it comes from approved
    > processors. It is also requiring processors to inspect each box of
    > shipped meat for contaminants, a previously unwritten expectation, the
    > company said.
    >
    > The recalled meat was linked to Omaha meatpacker Nebraska Beef, which
    > has recalled 6.5 million pounds of meat since July and has a long
    > history of safety, health and labor violations. Whole Foods
    > spokeswoman Libba Letton said one of its suppliers, Coleman Natural
    > Beef, was seeking to work with Nebraska Beef following its sale to
    > Meyer Natural Angus in June.
    >
    > Whole Foods said it had received assurances that none of its meat had
    > been processed by Nebraska Beef. One of Whole Foods' buyers had
    > visited Nebraska Beef's facilities, but the processor had not been
    > approved when the recall occurred last week. Meyer Natural Angus did
    > not return phone calls yesterday.
    >
    > "They're kind of a victim of their own success," Mark Kastel, co-
    > founder of the Cornucopia Institute, which promotes sustainable and
    > organic agriculture, said of Whole Foods.
    >
    > "They have to deal with large-scale suppliers. The infrastructure of
    > that supply mechanism has the same potential for contamination as
    > conventional meat."
    >
    > Whole Foods sets a high bar, positioning itself as more socially
    > conscious than its competitors. It caps top executives' pay at 19
    > times the average worker pay while chief executive John Mackey gets
    > just $1 a year. It has been a leader in retailers' green movement,
    > recently tightening its policies on farmed seafood, for example. Its
    > hormone-free meats, antibiotic-free seafood and pesticide-free produce
    > attract throngs of affluent shoppers.
    >
    > But those customers are often demanding. The company has been
    > criticized for not stocking only organic produce and even for carrying
    > sugar on its shelves. Mackey has famously defended the company as
    > Whole Foods -- not holy foods.
    >
    > "This is a big blow to their reputation, obviously," said Gene
    > Grabowski, chair of the crisis and litigation practice at Levick
    > Strategic Communications. "We tend to look at Whole Foods not only as
    > more nutritious but also safer, and we're willing to pay a premium for
    > that."
    >
    > Whole Foods' Letton said the recalled beef was labeled as natural,
    > which means it is free of artificial flavors and coloring but does not
    > meet the more rigorous U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for
    > organic. The company additionally prohibits meat suppliers from using
    > growth hormones or antibiotics, among other requirements.
    >
    > Although the company's stock dipped slightly Friday, yesterday it
    > rebounded, rising 5.8 percent to $19.73.
    >
    > Organic and conventional meat products are often processed in the same
    > facility. USDA regulations stipulate that steps must be taken to
    > prevent the commingling of organic and conventional product such as
    > cleaning equipment.
    >
    > "Organic doesn't address food safety or nutrition," said Joan
    > Schaffer, spokeswoman for USDA's National Organic Program.
    >
    > Ronnie Cummins, national director of the advocacy group Organic
    > Consumers Association, said he is not overly concerned by the Whole
    > Foods recall because it was an isolated incident. The company said it
    > believes this is its first ground beef recall due to E.coli.
    >
    > "I must say I'm not surprised to see a single incident," Cummins said.
    > "If it became a regular occurrence like it is with conventional beef,
    > I think we'd be extremely concerned."
    >
    > Grabowski, who has handled public relations during large recalls for
    > other companies, said Whole Foods must be transparent with its
    > customers in order to repair its image but also suggested that
    > shoppers temper their expectations.
    >
    > "From time to time, no matter what you do, there will be some
    > incidents that arise," Grabowski said. "We do not live in a risk-free
    > world."
    >
    > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...081102934.html


    And all this from a company that stopped selling lobsters because they
    claimed that they weren't being treated 'humanely'.



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