retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that Amazon-owned Whole Foods “ranked worst in a study of five major U.S. grocery chains for chemicals it uses in packaging at its popular hot-food bar. In response, the company said it has removed all the coated paper products in question and has started a search for new biodegradable packaging.”

The study, by watchdog groups Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and Toxic-Free Future, says that Whole Foods “was the biggest offender when it came to food contact papers that appear to have been treated with a class of chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer. They found high levels of fluorine in five of the 17 items tested at Whole Foods -- four of which were containers for its salad and hot-food bar.”

The Bloomberg story notes that “other grocers, including Albertsons, Kroger and Ahold Delhaize NV, the owner of Food Lion and Stop & Shop, had fewer items that tested positive for the substance. These were usually deli or bakery papers. Trader Joe’s was the only company that had zero items.”

The chemical in question is fluorine, the presence of which “is a sign that the items were likely treated with a type of PFAS … The concerns around the chemicals are multiple: They may migrate to food held in the containers and can linger for a lengthy period in the human body. Some types have been shown to hamper the immune system or promote cancer, and have been phased out.”
KC's View:
I know this is terrible, and I’m glad that Whole Foods is making the change.

But for the moment, I must admit, I find myself wondering what Whole Foods customers are using to carry their hot foods until replacement containers are found. Their fingers?