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Bay Area Grocery Chain Scores Failing Food Contamination Grade

Also: A shuttered brewery brings its beer back for a goat-related event, and more news to start your day

Vanessa Bain-Instacart Shopper Photo by Nick Otto for the Washington Post

Pleasanton-based Safeway was named as one of the country’s worst grocery stores when it comes to food contamination policies.

In a report published Wednesday (it can be read in full here), nonprofit watchdog group Pirg said that in a survey of 26 of the nation’s biggest grocery store chains, 22 of them — including Pleasanton-based Safeway — earned a grade of “F” as they failed to “adequately inform the public about recall notification efforts, how to sign up for direct notifications or where to find in-store postings.”

Other chains that received Pirg’s failing grade are local/national favorites Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Albertson’s, all of which, Pirg spokesperson Laura Deehan says, require shoppers to “go on a nearly impossible scavenger hunt to learn if they’ve purchased contaminated food,” KPIX reports.

Sadly, none of the chains managed to get an “A” in the rankings, but four did manage to scrape by with a “C”: Harris Teeter, Kroger, Smith’s Food and Drug, and — the only option for Bay Area residents — Target.

Poor Pirg marks aren’t the only issue that Safeway faces this week, it seems, as the Chron reports that United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, the union that represents 15,000 Safeway workers across Northern California, is preparing to strike, after a year and a half of contract negotiations. According to the grocery chain’s Bay Area workers, Safeway management is proposing a pay scale for local workers that would mirror the pay for Safeway staffers in San Joaquin Valley, an area where the cost of living is far lower. At present, top wages for the most senior workers at Safeway are $22.22 per hour, the union says.

And in other news...

  • Cow Hollow’s upscale vegan spot Wildseed “feels like dining in the future (or Santa Monica),” says food writer Peter Lawrence Kane. [SF Weekly]
  • Chile Lindo Empanadas, a Mission District institution for 25 years, has just expanded from a tiny storefront to a far larger kitchen space. [Mission Local]
  • Actor and Oakland native Mahershala Ali says that the one restaurant he always visits when he’s back in his hometown is Burma Superstar’s Temescal location. [SF Gate]
  • Though San Francisco’s Creole food scene has had a lot of closures in recent years, a new Cole Valley spot called CreoLa seeks to buck that trend, and opened this week at Stanyan and Frederick. [Hoodline]
  • Though sandwich shop Subway is, obviously, a massive (and some say, poorly managed) chain, 125 of its franchisees in Northern California are offering some unique items on their menus, Indian favorites like paneer tikka and chicken vindaloo served in sandwich form. [East Bay Times]
  • SF-based grocery delivery service Good Eggs is expanding its operations and adding a distribution center in Oakland. [SF Business Times]
  • Long shuttered by a fire caused by an errant driver, Arizmendi Bakery’s Emeryville location reopened Wednesday. [Berkeleyside]
  • SF beer makers HolyCraft Brewing Company opened a North Beach taproom in 2019, and closed a few months later, Yelp comments from its owner suggest, for renovations. But according to an invite to Goat My Valentine (an event during which one gets to hang out with goats!?!), HolyCraft’s 787 Broadway location is expected to open later this year.

Chile Lindo Empanadas

2942 16th Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 621-6108


2000 Union Street, , CA 94123 (415) 872-7350 Visit Website

Burma Superstar

309 Clement Street, , CA 94118 (415) 387-2147 Visit Website

Good Eggs

901 Rankin Street, , CA 94124 (415) 483-7344 Visit Website