RESTAURANT REPORT: Temperature violations at Whole Foods

RESTAURANT REPORT: Temperature violations at Whole Foods

It's a popular health food grocery store where you can also sit and enjoy a hot meal. But the health inspector reported temperature problems on a buffet and in the food service area.

It happened at Whole Foods in West Broad Village on West Broad Street in Henrico. The inspection report says it had 5 critical violations, plus 6 non-critical.

Among the violations, the inspector noted brisket and meatballs on the hot bar were 65 and 45 degrees below the required temperature. The report also says food on the salad bar and tuna in the sushi refrigerator were not being kept cold enough. And the inspector wrote that rotisserie chicken was undercooked.

We contacted the Whole Foods' corporate office, which sent us the following statement:

"The health of our customers and the quality of our ingredients are top priorities for Whole Foods Market. The store took immediate action to address the issues identified during the inspection.

We continue to follow up with the health department, but here's some of the actions taken related to the critical violations:
- Rotisserie chicken observed cooked to improper temperature: Product was not on sales floor – temperature was taken before it was ready. All of the chicken on the floor for customers was at the proper temperature.

- Brisket and meatballs on hot bar observed at improper temperatures: Brisket was too thick, impacting temperature. We immediately addressed this via more thinly sliced brisket on our hot bar and added more sauce to meatballs to keep them at temperature.

- Food on salad bar and tuna in sushi bar observed at improper temperatures: We have implemented a new process to ensure that the proper temperature on the salad bar is maintained. Regarding the sushi bar, the issue was not about sushi itself, but actually about a piece of tuna in the prep area, and we were unable to locate the appropriate sushi chef while the inspector was on-site to ask details so it was marked as a violation. All sushi products in the sushi case were and continue to be at correct temperature.

- Food on top of pizza prep unit observed at improper temperature: The pizza prep fridge was briefly left open. Will not occur in future.

- No time records being kept for the pizza: Store has implemented further training and follow up to ensure proper records are being kept, which they now are.

- No backflow device observed for hose in dishwashing area: We have updated our equipment per county guidance."

Up next, China Panda II at 10020 Robious Road in Chesterfield. It had 4 critical violations, including live and dead roaches on glue boards throughout the kitchen. The inspector noted the restaurant was getting pest control but wrote additional treatments need to take place because a report left by a pest technician stated the "roach problem was bad." China Panda II had corrected all violations by the re-inspection two weeks later. The inspector noted "only a few baby roaches in the facility" and told them to increase pest control to twice a month to keep it in check.

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