Whole Foods claims to be “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store,” and that they, “maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry.” Such claims might start to be questioned, however, after a disgusting discovery at one of their San Francisco locations on Monday, April 21. Last week, KRON 4 News exclusively reported that maggots were found in a meat case. Now, KRON 4 News is reporting that the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) claims Whole Foods hasn’t worked quickly enough to fix the problem. Beyond that, the grocery store can’t seem to keep its story straight as to what actually transpired.
When the story was reported last week, KRON was told by the SFDPH that Whole Foods told them that all they found was one dead maggot. That conflicted with what KRON had heard from Whole Foods employee, Marc Melancon. Mr. Melancon, who is a meat clerk, told the station last week, “I can actually see maggots underneath the plastic right near the meat that I was selling, inside the case…it was pretty bad.” After KRON started to look into the matter, Whole Foods changed its story.
Instead of one dead maggot, Whole Foods told KRON, “We discovered several live maggots beneath the meat case, not in with the meat.” Again, this seems to conflict with what Mr. Melancon told the news station. He says they were definitely inside the case and, “that we knew the maggots were there, but we continued selling meat…Morally, and mentally, I was having issues. I’ve been having issues since [April 21] about my actions on actually selling meat, because I don’t want to put anybody in risk, like any kind of health risk. I actually want to apologize to anybody I can or any person that I sold meat to.”
When KRON asked Whole Foods about the difference between their story and Mr. Melancon’s, they said, “What’s important for people to know is, the cases are clean. We passed health inspection and there was never a public health risk.” As reporter Dan Kerman points out, however, that can’t be proven, because the health inspection happened days after the maggots were discovered. You would have to take the store’s word that there was no risk, and that is currently a questionable proposition. Beyond that, the SFDPH said Whole Foods has not moved fast enough to solve the issue and claim that despite ordering the market to clean their floor sinks below the meat case last week, Whole Foods had still not done it by the time they followed up this week. Whole Foods says that was a case of miscommunication, and they were going to take care of it immediately.
More info: KRON