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East Bay Co-Op Pulls Amy’s Kitchen Products From Shelves After Allegations of Unsafe Working Conditions

Plus commercial Dungeness crab fishing may halt soon and more food intel

Operations At An Amy’s Kitchen As Covid-19 Eliminates Consumer Brands That Americans Love Getty
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

At least three grocery stores, including one in the East Bay, have pulled Amy’s Kitchen products from shelves following allegations of unsafe working conditions at the Petaluma-based company’s Bay Area factory. SFGATE reports Mandela Grocery Cooperative in Oakland and two cooperatively-owned markets in Portland announced boycotts of Amy’s Kitchen products; additional markets including San Francisco’s historic Rainbow Grocery Cooperative are also considering boycotts, SFGATE reports.

As Eater SF reported, calls for a boycott of the company’s products, which include frozen vegetarian and vegan meals and burritos, began in late February when advocacy groups including Veggie Mijas and Food Empowerment Project encouraged customers to discontinue support of Amy’s Kitchen products. The groups told Vegetarian Times they hope a boycott will help draw attention to allegations of unsafe working conditions at the company’s production facility in Santa Rosa.

In early January, an employee filed a complaint with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health alleging workers have not been given access to the bathroom or drinking water during shifts at the factory, among other allegations. Cecilia Luna Ojeda, who filed the Cal/OSHA complaint, also told NBC News in late 2021 the company laid her off after she told them she needed surgery to address an injury that began while she worked on the company’s frozen burrito line.

Santa Clara County sues 2 food businesses for failure to pay COVID fines

Santa Clara County has filed lawsuits against six businesses including a restaurant and a cafe for failing to pay thousands of dollars of fines related to COVID-19 heath orders. The Mercury News reports Crafthouse Bar and Grill in Sunnyvale owes $27,775 in fines, while the Grind Coffee House in San Jose owes $13,750. The cafe’s fines stem from the fact that the business “kept indoor service running when it wasn’t supposed to, wasn’t enforcing mask rules and didn’t create enough space between tables for customers,” per Mercury News.

2 chefs with Michelin cred plan upscale restaurant in Carmel

Husband-and-wife team Monique and Johnny Black (Per Se, Quince) plan to open an upscale restaurant called Chez Noir in the coastal city of Carmel, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. It’ll be a “hyperlocal” and seafood-focused restaurant with meals landing between $85 and $150 per person.

Officials recommend pause on commercial Dungeness crab fishing

After two humpback whales got caught in fishing lines, wildlife officials on Monday recommended commercial fishing for Dungeness crab stop on April 8; the area impacted would run from Monterey Bay, south of San Francisco, to the Mexican border, per the Mercury News. Recreational fishing wouldn’t be impacted.

SF food startup sets world record for vegan ceviche

Congrats to Current Foods for filling a “bathtub size container” with vegan tuna ceviche, setting a new Guinness World Record in the process. The San Mateo Daily Journal has details — but not the answer to our most burning question: Did they have enough chips?