Trader Joe’s Recalls Cookies and Falafel Because They ‘May Contain Rocks’


Trader Joe’s issued three voluntary recalls this week with warnings that certain products “may contain rocks” or “may contain insects.”

The California-based grocery chain recalled two types of cookies, a soup and premade falafel.

All of the affected products were removed from shelves and destroyed, Trader Joe’s said in a statement, urging customers to either discard the recalled items or return them for a refund.

The company said in an emailed statement that its vendors had alerted it to the potential contaminants but did not immediately respond to questions about how rocks or insects could have gotten into the products.

“We will never leave to chance the safety of the products we offer,” the statement said. “In each of these cases, there was an issue in the manufacturing processes in the facilities. We pulled the product from our shelves as soon as we were made aware of the issue.”

Trader Joe’s issued a recall for its Almond Windmill Cookies with sell-by dates between Oct. 2 and 19 through Oct. 23 as well as Dark Chocolate Chunk and Almond Cookies that had sell-by dates between Oct. 17 and 21.

The company said in an announcement that it had removed the cookies because they “may contain rocks.”

The company announced a similar recall on Friday, alerting customers to the potential of rocks in its Fully Cooked Falafel. The product is being recalled in at least 30 states and Washington, D.C.

Trader Joe’s also announced a recall on Thursday for its Unexpected Broccoli Cheddar Soup because it “may contain insects.”

Soup with use by dates from July 18 to Sept. 15 may be affected. There are 10,889 affected cases, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“No known adverse health effects have been reported to date,” Trader Joe’s said.

Although the nature of the recalls are unusual, customers should not be alarmed, said Benjamin Chapman, a professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University.

“It’s notable that they had three in a week for things we don’t see or hear about all the time,” Dr. Chapman said, “but from a consumer-risk perspective, it’s relatively low.”

These types of recalls are not considered high risk in the same way that food-borne illnesses like E. coli and salmonella are, Dr. Chapman said.

“A rock can lead to physical harm, like breaking a tooth. Depending on the size, it could be a choking hazard,” he said. “But it’s not as risky as a food-borne illness, where there is a chance of possible hospitalization or fatality.”


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