E. coli outbreak in ground beef linked to Whole Foods Markets

When I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Whole Foods was adjacent to my apartment complex. It was cruel, really. I couldn’t afford to shop there very often but the food always looked so delicious, and, well, wholesome. Yesterday, however, Whole Foods Market recalled fresh ground beef sold between June 2 and August 6 for a possible contamination with E. coli O157:H7.

Seven are sick in Massachusetts and two in Pennsylvania. None in Ann Arbor, yet.

Whole Foods has successfully built its reputation on natural and organic foods with high prices to make you believe you are doing good to your body by shopping there. Personally, I shopped there for the wide array of cheeses and pâté that wasn’t available in my favorite (more affordable) grocery. This outbreak raises the question for me – why are people still getting sick from ground beef processed at Nebraska Beef Ltd. that was previously recalled? And, as Bill Marler points out, why was Whole Foods selling Nebraska Beef? He offers a list of hard-hitting questions for the elite grocery chain that touts its own high standards.

On a side note, the Whole Foods that used to be in my backyard in Ann Arbor has since become a Trader Joe’s. Whole Foods moved down the street to a much larger and fancier location.