The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an official warning letter to Whole Foods Market, following a series of repeated food recalls for undeclared allergens.
The warning comes after Whole Foods Market – which was bought by Amazon in 2017 – has received and offered for sale misbranded food products that resulted in numerous food recalls for allergens.
Over the last year, the supermarket chain has recalled more than 30 food products due to the presence of major food allergens that were not listed on the finished product labels. Similar patterns in previous years have been recognised by the FDA as well.
According to the FDA, the letter marks the first time the federal agency has warned a retailer for engaging in a pattern of not labelling products with the presence of food allergens, which has then led to several recalls.
The products mentioned include a variety of foods sold under the Whole Foods brand, primarily in the deli and bakery sections of the store.
In order to protect consumers, US law requires that food or ingredients that contain major food allergens such as milk, eggs, nuts, and wheat, be specifically labelled. According to the FDA, undeclared food allergens are the number one leading cause of Class I food recalls for at least the last three years and the agency has analysed patterns of recalls to address this issue.
The FDA said Whole Foods Market should respond within 15 working days from the receipt of the letter, listing the ways they will address the violations.
In 2020, the FDA says it has sent eight warning letters to companies that have manufactured and distributed foods with undeclared allergens to remind them of their responsibilities concerning the control of allergens.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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