by in Food Borne Illnesses

Trader Joe’s recently issued a recall after FDA testing revealed that cashews sold by the store were contaminated by Salmonella. One lot of the Raw Cashew Pieces were recalled. Contaminated cashews were shipped out and sold nationwide. Consumers that have purchased the recalled products should throw them out. The cashew recall is just the latest in a chain of Trader Joe’s recalls that have affected the company since July of last year. In the last six months, Trader Joe’s has issued 7 recalls of products for various reasons.

The first of these recalls came exactly six months ago. On July 21, 2015, Trader Joe’s issued a huge recall of salad after the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered that was misbranded. About 780 pounds of product were recalled. There were two varieties of salad involved in the recall: 9.5 oz. trays of “Trader Joe’s Cobb Salad” and 11 oz. trays of “Trader Joe’s Uncured Bacon & Spinach Salad. There were no reports of injury or illness related to the recalled salad.

Trader Joe’s issued their next recall on August 26, 2015. Dark Chocolate covered Honey Grahams with Sea Salt was recalled after two people had adverse reactions to the product. The honey grahams contained milk, which is a major allergen. Allergens such as milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, wheat, and soybeans are required to be displayed on the product’s label. This became the standard after the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act was implemented in 2004.

The first foodborne illness scare came in September. On September 26, 2015, Trader Joe’s had to recall over 4,000 units of Tropical Fruit Medley after testing showed that the products may be contaminated with Salmonella. These products were distributed to Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Florida, and Washington D.C. No illnesses were reported in relation to the recall.

Soon after, on October 7, 2015, Trader Joe’s had to issue another recall, this time for Coconut Cranberry Granola. Over 700 cases were recalled after it was uncovered that the products contained milk, wheat, and pecans. These ingredients are included in a group of major allergens that must be reported on the label of products that contain them. One person reported an allergic reaction to Trader Joe’s which triggered the recall.

November 12, 2015 was the next time that Trader Joe’s had to issue a recall. Trader Giotto’s Butternut Squash Triangoli was recalled after tree nuts were discovered in the product. Tree nuts are not an intended ingredient in the Triangoli, so they were not declared on the label. The products were distributed nationwide. The recall came on the heels of reports that customers were having allergic reactions after consuming the Butternut Squash Triangoli.

The last recall Trader Joe’s issued before last week was on December 15, 2015. Bottles of Trader Joe’s brand Triple Ginger Brew were recalled after reports indicated that the unopened bottles had the potential to burst. Bottles purchased from 11/9/2015 to 12/14/2015 were affected by the recall.  Although the recalled product posed no health risk if consumed, health officials recommended that the bottle be disposed of in order to prevent any injuries from potential bursting. No injuries were reported in relation to the ginger brew.

Recalls are not uncommon in the food safety industry. They can be caused by a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons, such as foodborne pathogens or major allergens, can cause adverse reactions in those who consume recalled products. So far, not many cases of injury have occurred because of recalled Trader Joe’s products. Trader Joe’s latest recall, for Raw Cashew Pieces, may still be found in the homes of consumers. Health Officials have recommended that consumers dispose of the recalled cashew pieces. Only one lot was affected by the recall, which can be read here. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning after eating recalled cashews, contact a medical professional.