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What’s Going on with Trader Joe’s Recalls?

 Recent recalls from Trader Joe’s have been causing customer concerns over the companys quality control.
EatingWell
Recent recalls from Trader Joe’s have been causing customer concerns over the company’s quality control.

Many Yorba Linda High School students are familiar with Trader Joe’s. It is a grocery chain with a loyal clientele and social media following and more than 500 stores across the country. Recently, the company has issued a slew of recalls in less than two months, is it time to worry?

Food recalls have a variety of causes, from undeclared ingredients or allergens to physical contamination. The Trader Joe’s recalls were caused by physical contamination. Contamination with foreign materials such as metal, rocks, and insects concerns Teresa Murray, who directs the Consumer Watchdog office for PIRG, “This seems so easy to prevent,” she said. 

This week, Trader Joe’s alerted customers that their “Texas Tamale Company Gourmet Black Bean Tamales” may contain undeclared milk, and previously, it pulled multigrain crackers that may have metal. Additionally, two different kinds of cookies may contain rocks, and broccoli cheddar soup and cooked falafel that may control insects have also been recalled. In response, Trader Joe’s has urged customers to discard or return the recalled products for a full refund.

So, why have there been so many recalls as of late? Trader Joe’s says the close timing of the recalls is coincidental. The grocery chain claimed to work quickly to investigate potential problems and remove products from shelves “if there is any doubt about its safety or quality” without waiting for federal regulators, Nakia Rohde, a public relations manager, said in a statement. “We will never leave to chance the safety of the products we offer,” Rohde said. “We pull the product from our shelves as soon as we are aware of an issue.”

The string of recalls suggests Trader Joe’s needs to pay closer attention to quality control, said University of Notre Dame professor Kaitlin Wowak. She commented, “Modern supply chains are longer and more complex than ever before, which makes it increasingly more difficult for companies to ensure the quality of every single product they sell,” Wowak said. “With so many recent recalls due to things like products potentially containing rocks, metal, or insects, it suggests that Trader Joe’s needs to take a closer look at their suppliers.”

“ I am a frequent shopper at Trader Joe’s and these recalls concern me due to the reasons they are being recalled, It feels unsafe”.

— Hannah Jebelli

We asked fellow Yorba Linda High School students to comment on the issue. Hannah Jebelli (12) commented saying “ I am a frequent shopper at Trader Joe’s and these recalls concern me due to the reasons they are being recalled, It feels unsafe”. This is a common sentiment with most students and patrons of Trader Joe’s. These recalls do seem to be a non-urgent issue but do reveal that the quality control at Trader Joe’s might need to be investigated. 

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About the Contributor
Imaan Moten, Photojournalist
Imaan Moten is a senior at Yorba Linda High School. This year will be her third year on The Wrangler as a photojournalist. In her free time, she loves to read, volunteer, and play lacrosse. As she begins her last year of high school, she hopes to contribute to the newspaper program and become a better writer. After graduating, she wants to continue her education as a public health major and pursue a career in the medical field.

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