Whole Foods Disappointment

Posted on: Sun, 02/18/2007 - 11:32pm
MamaZof2's picture
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Joined: 10/15/2006 - 09:00

Yesterday, while shopping at Whole Foods, my PA daughter (age 5) decided she wanted a chocolate chip cookie. After checking what felt like 50 different boxes of cookies in the cookie aisle, we found only one that was safe but did not appeal to her. We headed over to the bakery, where we found an open display case of cookies, freshly baked. The ingredients were clearly listed on the front. My little girl was so excited when we found a cookie that was peanut and tree nut free. As I reached in with my tissue paper to get one for her, we discovered that lying RIGHT next to it was a whole pile of peanut butter cookies! I have never seen anything so ridiculous in my life! I have heard in my community that this store is supposed to be health-conscious, but apparently this is only for the non-food allergy folks out there. I just wondered if anyone else has run into this problem and if so, are there ways to deal with it at the store? Confront a Manager? Write to the corporate headquarters? Would love to hear your thoughts, as my daughter left the store in tears that day. Thanks!

Lisa in western MA

Posted on: Sun, 02/18/2007 - 11:46pm
Jen224's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2006 - 09:00

We had a similar experience with our local Whole Foods as well. I emailed the cooperate office and they forwarded me the local manager's email/contact information.
I have noticed some positive changes since I contacted them directly.
I'll take a look at our bakery to see if they do the same, but honestly, even they are on opposite sides of the case I wouldn't be comfortable giving it to my PA DS. The cross-cont. factor is a little too risky for me.....both behind the scenes and out in front.
Good luck--I hope you get a good response. Let us know what happens!

Posted on: Mon, 02/19/2007 - 1:08am
bethc's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

Whether they touch or not in the display case, you don't know if they used the same mixing bowl without thoroughly washing it, the same baking sheets, the same gloves to pick up the cookies and put them in the case or packages. I've read that bakeries are a danger to PA people unless it's a peanut-free bakery. We absolutely never feed DD anything from a bakery anymore.

Posted on: Mon, 02/19/2007 - 2:20am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I have to say, I **GASPED** when I read that you went to the bakery, and "...as I reached in... to get one for her..."!!
Bakeries are prime candidates for all kinds of cross-contamination. We consider them "not safe at all."
All that said, I'm sorry your DD had a disappointing day, but I'm glad she was safe in the end.

Posted on: Mon, 02/19/2007 - 8:25am
MamaZof2's picture
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[quote]Originally posted by Lam:
[B]I have to say, I **GASPED** when I read that you went to the bakery, and "...as I reached in... to get one for her..."!!
It was definitely one of my IDIOT moments, that's for sure!! Once again, I realize how ignorant I am as I learn about PA in general. I have been so fortunate that as I learn through my stupid mistakes that my daughter has not had a reaction. I am so grateful to have found this board. I will keep reading and learning as much as I can. We are new at this diagnosis and have no local support. Thanks for all of the feedback!!!

Posted on: Mon, 02/19/2007 - 10:52am
momll70's picture
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Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

In this case I'm glad that the peanut butter cookies were there where you could see them. I never trust bakery labels. Especially the cookies in the pastic containers (sometimes they don't mention nuts/peanuts). It took me so long to learn about cross contamination. I think about all the chances I took in the past but how did I know? I didn't know anything about food allergies. We learn from experience. And thank goodness for these boards. Thankfully you noticed the other cookies and your daughter is fine.

Posted on: Mon, 02/19/2007 - 12:46pm
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
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Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

Whole Foods is a major disappointment for those with food allergies. The food samples they have out all have signs that say that it may contain any of the 8 major allergens so 'stay away', even if it comes from a safe package.
Whole foods even has their fish in the fish display case where there is salmon for example right next to pecan encrusted trout. There are pecans everywhere. I have complained and make a point to mention it every time i go in.
Very disappointed in a so called 'health food ' store!

Posted on: Mon, 02/19/2007 - 1:01pm
krasota's picture
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Joined: 04/24/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis:
[b]Whole foods even has their fish in the fish display case where there is salmon for example right next to pecan encrusted trout. There are pecans everywhere. I have complained and make a point to mention it every time i go in.[/b]
It's easy enough to nicely ask them to change their gloves and fetch some salmon from the back. They almost always have more (of everything) in back, since they can't leave it all out all the time.
I ask for salmon candy from "in back" since the salmon candy up front is right next to all the crabcakes. They smile and fetch it for me without delay.
ygg

Posted on: Mon, 02/19/2007 - 9:39pm
momll70's picture
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Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis:
Whole foods even has their fish in the fish display case where there is salmon for example right next to pecan encrusted trout. There are pecans everywhere. I have complained and make a point to mention it every time i go in.
I'm so glad you mentioned this as my DH really likes this store and always tells me to go shopping there. One thing I've learned is to stay away from whole foods, whole grains, gourmet stores. I'm allergic to pecans and now I know never to eat fish from there. I wonder now about the meats. Usually we get our meat from a local market that I'm comfortable with.
I'm not a big fish eater too. Now I have another reason not to eat it unless it's from our local fish market that doesn't get too fancy with their products.

Posted on: Tue, 02/20/2007 - 1:35am
saknjmom's picture
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Yes, the bakery is OFF LIMITS for us. Bakery food is in MHO, very risky business.
I don't get what the hoopla is with whole foods. I occassionally go there for meat/fish, but I would NEVER let my DS through the door of that store. There are nuts everywhere, freshly ground PB being made, just not allergy friendly whatsoever.
I feel that their produce is over priced and I can get good fresh fruits and veggies from another local store for quite a bit less $$.
I also know of an incident that happened to my friend's nephew....his mom used to buy some type of muffin there (out of my comfort zone), but anyway the bakery that made the muffins mixed up labels for plain banana muffins with banana walnut muffins. He started eating one that they thought was plain, but had walnuts and he went into ana. shock....I realize this could happen anywhere, but it really turned me off to this store.

Posted on: Wed, 02/21/2007 - 5:53am
jtolpin's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis:
Whole Foods is a major disappointment for those with food allergies.
Speak for the majority, fine. I'm therefore, in the minority.
Without Whole Foods, Caitlin would be FTT. Period. End of story.
Whole Foods has saved us PLENTY of times, and Im MORE than happy to shop there for products... and pay whatever the cost...
They get what we NEED, when other stores do not.
DW (Anaph. to peanuts/nuts) gets their muffins plenty of times with no problems.
As for the OP trying to find a 'safe' cookie... Theres a whole aisle of cookies... Its just a matter of finding, I guess, the one that YOU are 'comfortable' with.
Depends on what TYPE you are looking for. PLENTY of them do NOT contain nuts (though run on equipment with nuts...). And heck... aren't oreos nut free?
Jason
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[b]* Beyond Obsessed * [/b]

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