Fancy food does not mean safe food: Whole Foods and golf club edition

Napa’s new Whole Foods received an F grade in its first county food facility inspection.

Store manager David Cosper said the market’s sheer size and diversity of offerings may have contributed towards the failing grade, which Whole Foods took steps to fix “immediately."

The major violations included improper handwashing and use of gloves at a hot counter area, improper hot and cold holding temperatures in several food areas and lack of availability of hot or cold water at two sinks. Other violations included improper handling of food and food storage, uncovered containers and missing sneeze guards.

In Virginia, the Daily Press reports that Ford’s Colony, a popular gated community in James City County complete with a 200-acre wildlife preserve, a wine cellar with 1,600 labels and three 18-hole golf courses, has also, on occasion, been home to poorly dated food, meat kept at improper temperatures and employees who were caught not washing their hands.

Ford’s Colony is hardly the only private club with health violations in Hampton Roads. Country clubs, yacht clubs and golf clubs with exclusive memberships from James City to Suffolk have all recently received critical marks that belie the air of posh living these communities pride themselves on.

It’s like Ben and I discovered during the halfway point of a food safety golf tournament in Baltimore in 2005, when a burley, 50-ish goateed he-man requested his hamburger be cooked, "Bloody … with cheese."

His sidekick piped up, "Me too."

I asked the kid flipping burgers if he had a meat thermometer.

He replied, snickering, "Yeah, this is a pretty high-tech operation."

The young woman taking orders glanced about, and then confided that she didn’t think there was a meat thermometer anywhere in the kitchen; this, at a fancy golf course catering to weddings and other swanky functions along with grunts on the golf course.