Whole Foods to Shut Down Everett Prep Kitchen

The facility faced FDA criticism last year due to health violations.

Whole Foods is shuttering a major prep kitchen in Everett, less than a year after the FDA cited it for multiple health violations.

The facility has already ceased food prep operations and will close for good in March, the Boston Globe reports, based on a letter sent Monday to the state department of Labor and Workforce Development. About 170 employees will be affected by the closure, though the company has said it will try to relocate them to other area Whole Foods locations.

Despite the serious violations cited by the FDA last year—including Listeria, unsanitary conditions, and employee errors—a Whole Foods representative told the Globe that the closure is an “internally-driven business decision,” and not related to its troubled past. Prep kitchens in Atlanta and Landover, Maryland, will also shut down.

The Everett kitchen provided food for stores all over the region. Food preparation for local stores will now be outsourced to outside suppliers, according to the spokesperson.