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The Boston Business Journal reports that "Whole Foods Market Inc. is permanently closing its North Atlantic food-preparation facility in Everett effective March 17, a move that will affect 170 workers ... Whole Foods is also closing regional kitchen facilities in Atlanta and Landover, Maryland ... The grocery chain will rely on outside suppliers for its in-store prepared foods."

The Business Journal notes that "Whole Foods received a June warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which notified company leadership of several serious food-safety violations. Those violations included the presence of listeria and workers preparing ready-to-eat food under a leaking condensate pipe, among others." However, it said that the decision to close the facilities was an internal decision, and not affected by any third parties or regulatory agencies.
KC's View:
This may work for Whole Foods operationally, but they've cerated the image of a company that is totally hands-on when it comes to this stuff, not one that outsources prepared foods to outside suppliers. I have to wonder if there is an internal debate at Whole Foods about what corners can be cut and what values are core - and what values can be compromised a little bit in search of greater efficiency.