Whole Foods Market store in Detroit is suspected to be linked to two cases of Hepatitis A, according to the Detroit Health Department. An investigation is searching for a connection between the foods sold at the store and the disease after an employee and a customer were affected.
The employee that now has Hepatitis A handles prepared food at the Whole Foods Market store in Detroit, located at 115 Mack Ave. The other person sickened was a customer who ate from the section where the affected employee works, reported the Detroit Health Department.
Abdul El-Sayed, the agency’s executive director, and health officer stated that the food corporation has been cooperative throughout the process. The connection between the Detroit Whole Foods Market store and the contagious of the condition has not been established.
“While it remains unclear exactly how either of these individuals contracted hepatitis A, and we know that Whole Foods Market Detroit has a comprehensive food safety protocol, we want to do our best to protect our residents and those of surrounding communities who may have been exposed,” stated El-Sayed.
The Detroit Health Department recommended to those that purchased or consumed any goods in that particular store between October 6 and October 12 to go and see a doctor check if they were affected. The city’s two clinics are offering Hepatitis A evaluations until next Wednesday from 08:00 p.m. to 05:00 p.m.
Whole Foods Market Inc. stated the store follows all food-safety protocols. The company was the one that contacted the Detroit Health Department as a precaution after they found out that the employee was diagnosed with the disease. After their employee case, the company immediately started a review of food logs and procedures.
Hepatitis A is a disease that affects the liver and causes fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. In severe cases, it can turn the patient’s eyes and skin yellow. The condition can be spread by contaminated food or drink, which puts Whole Foods under scrutiny.
The company said in a statement that the health agency had not established a relation between the customer case and the employee case at the Detroit store. It added that they are fully cooperating with the Detroit Health Department to guarantee safe products and environment to its consumers and team members.
Whole Foods health problems mean economic problems as well
Since the Detroit Hepatitis cases at Whole Food Market, the company’s shares have declined up to a 2.5 percent. This is not the first time the food chain stocks go down in 2016, and it is not the first time it has a health issue with one of its establishments.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cited Whole Foods earlier this year for unsanitary conditions at their plant in Everett, Massachusetts. The facility supplies prepared foods and other products to more than a dozen of Whole Foods stores in the Northeast, risking to spread any disease to that part of the country.
Regarding shares going down, Whole Foods is losing domain in the market to mainstream supermarket competitors. The company is also going through a slow growth. All these facts, plus the Hepatitis cases in Detroit has battered Whole Foods shares 14 percent in 2016 through Wednesday’s close, Bloomberg reports.