WHOLE FOODS fined for commingling.
Whole Foods Markets in other counties as well as independent retailers and farmers' markets have been cited by agricultural inspectors in the past for the commingling violation, but this is the first time a stiff fine has been imposed. Unless Whole Foods appeals or asks for a hearing, the company will be required to pay the penalty.
Gary Willey, deputy agriculture commissioner for Monterey County, says Whole Foods was cited because of repeated violations, and notes that the commingling has the "potential of damaging the integrity of the situation." The county does not tell stores how to rectify the displays, but at the very least they must have some type of divider that prevents conventional from touching organic produce, Willey notes. Retailers are also warned about wet racks where conventional vegetables and fruits maybe dripping on organic produce below.
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|Date:||Oct 1, 2000|
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