May 20, 2024

Courtesy of Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is recalling two more products: a broccoli cheddar soup that may contain insects and some ready-to-eat falafel that may contain rocks, the company said in two separate news releases last week.

The two new recalls come after a similar recall, also announced last week, regarding the grocery chain’s Almond Windmill Cookies and Dark Chocolate Chunk and Almond Cookies—both of which were pulled from shelves due to the possible presence of rocks.

The new soup recall impacts Trader Joe’s Unexpected Broccoli Cheddar Soup (SKU# 68470) with use-by dates of July 18, 2023 through September 15, 2023.

The other recall affects Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Falafel (SKU# 93935). Though the company did not provide specific best-by dates or product codes, it said that the packages that may contain rocks were sold in35 states and the District of Columbia.

Both affected products have since been removed from Trader Joe’s shelves and destroyed. No adverse health effects have been reported to date in relation to the broccoli cheddar soup recall, and no information was provided about any potential injuries or health events due to the recalled falafel.

Customers should check to see if they purchased or were given either of these products, and are urged to discard any possibly-contaminated products or return them to a Trader Joe’s store for a full refund. Customers should not eat either of the affected products.

The company said that any customers with questions about either recall should contact their customer relations department at 626-599-3817, or they can send an email via an online contact form.

The falafel and broccoli cheddar soup recalls come on the heels of other Trader Joe’s products that were also recalled for possible foreign contamination—as recently as July 25, the company recalled two of its popular cookie products over concerns that they may contain rocks. 

The company was also recently involved in larger recalls of some of their frozen fruit products. Certain units of Trader Joe’s Organic Tropical Fruit Blend were recalled in March over fears of hepatitis A contamination, and again in June due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. 

In terms of its policy toward general food safety, the company states that it always “[errs] on the side of caution and [is] proactive in addressing issues.”

Foreign object contamination—the umbrella term for when insects, rocks, plastic, or other potentially harmful objects get into food—is a fairly common cause of food recalls. Though products like the ones recalled by Trader Joe’s aren’t included in data, foreign object contamination of meat products was the most common cause of recalls in 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Trader Joe’s did not provide information on how the rocks or insects may have gotten into the falafel and broccoli cheddar soup, respectively. It also didn’t expand on how rocks might have contaminated the cookie products in that announcement.

When it comes to hard or sharp objects in particular, the concern is that they may cause injuries in the mouth, stomach, or intestines. Trader Joe’s did not say how large the rocks in the falafel may have been, but according to the Food and Drug Administration, objects smaller than 7 millimeters rarely cause injuries.


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