Whole Foods shoppers deserve to be irate today after the grocery chain admitted a troubling mix-up that lead to the recall of two prepared salads. The affected products are the curried chicken salad and vegan curried "chick'n" salad, which, in 15 stores spanning across five states (Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Massachussetts), "may have been sold with reversed labels" on May 7 and 8. ... Yup.
That means allergens were undeclared, so people with a soy allergy may have been eating soy in the vegan salad, people with an egg allergy eating egg in the chicken salad, and vegans being made unintentional carnivores. Wow. On a second thought, mix-up doesn't even begin to cover it!
This is a major screw-up on Whole Foods' part. But the good news is that it seems like they know it! They're supposed to be known for selling food we can trust, being especially conscious and sensitive about food allergies and organic/vegan/vegetarian lifestyles. Loyal shoppers like myself expect a higher standard than conventional grocers from Whole Foods. And this incident certainly doesn't make it seem like the company's living up to that.
Then again, at least they identified the issue and are bringing it to national attention. Good damage control can do wonders and will hopefully go far to prevent any scary allergic reactions (soy and eggs can cause hives and even life-threatening anaphylaxis in people who are allergic) from occurring as a result. So far, no illnesses have been reported, according to Whole Foods. Thank goodness.
In the meantime, the affected products have been removed from stores, and Whole Foods is urging consumers who purchased the salads mistakenly to return it to the store for a full refund. Consumers with questions can contact their local store or call 617-492-5500 between the hours of 9am and 5pm EST. You can also get a full list of affected stores and more details on the FDA's website.
Are you aggravated by this recall or similar ones involving mislabeling?
Image via Ralph Daily/Flickr