I was in the store today (12/3/12). I was getting some bulk items (tea, garlic powder, bay leaves) and I found that there were several dirty scoops with product obviously visible on them in the “clean” scoop canister, as well as scoops that looked clean but were dripping wet. I don’t know which is worse, using a dirty scoop or a wet one, but I don’t feel comfortable with either, and it makes me wonder about the cleanliness and quality control in the bulk area in general. I would urge you to find a more hygienic method of storing the clean scoops, and of keeping them separate from the used ones. Also, I could not find any type of tongs for items such as bay leaves, which do not respond well to a scoop.
We do our best to keep the bulk area neat & tidy, but because the bulk department is a self-service department, we can’t guarantee that bulk products won’t be cross-contaminated with other bulk products. For instance, even scoops in the “clean” bin may have traces of other spices on them. This is why we post signage throughout the bulk area stating that we cannot guarantee bulk products to be free of allergens. As for sanitation, we run the scoops through our industrial sanitizer many times throughout the day.
I’ve discussed your concerns with our Wellness Manager (who also manages the bulk teas, herbs and spices). She has asked her staff to make a habit of hand-drying the scoops when they come out of the sanitizer. And, as soon as possible, she will also place an order for more tongs and scoops to facilitate better rotation between the sales floor and the sanitizer.
Thanks for taking the time to let us know your concerns. We truly appreciate it and will bear your comments in mind moving forward.
Member Services Manager