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Whole Foods checking beef

August 17, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Whole Foods Market Inc. said it was checking all meat deliveries to ensure that they are from processors approved by the grocery chain after it recalled 48,000 pounds of possibly tainted ground beef earlier this month.

Whole Foods, the largest U.S. natural-foods grocer, is also requiring that processors guarantee in writing that they are testing for possible contamination by E. coli bacteria, said spokeswoman Libba Letton.

It was the first time the Austin, Texas-based retailer recalled food linked to E. coli contamination. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania health officials reported nine people may have been sickened by ground beef from Whole Foods, spurring the Aug. 8 recall in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Beef from the stores tested negative for E. coli, Letton said.

"It's right that our customers ask questions," Letton said. "We are certainly telling them about the new things we're going to be doing to assure something like this doesn't happen again."

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