Trader Joe’s addresses recent recalls

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The Orem Trader Joe’s store is located near State Street and University Pkwy. Two varieties of Trader Joe’s cookies were recalled from store shelves on July 25 for potentially containing rocks. (Sydni Merrill)

Grocery store chain Trader Joe’s announced a recall on two cookie products which may contain “foreign material,” or rocks, on July 25.

This is Trader Joe’s eighth recall announced this year.

Recalled products include Trader Joe’s Almond Windmill Cookies with sell-by dates of Oct. 2, 2023 and Oct. 19, 2023 through Oct. 21, 2023, and Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Chunk and Almond Cookies with the sell-by dates of Oct. 17, 2023 through Oct. 21, 2023.

Trader Joe’s announced that they “removed from sale and destroyed” all potentially affected products.

“If you purchased or received any donations of Almond Windmill Cookies and/or Dark Chocolate Chunk and Almond Cookies, please do not eat them. We urge you to discard the product or return it to any Trader Joe’s for a full refund,” Trader Joe’s said in the announcement.

Trader Joe’s announced seven other recalls in 2023 within the span of four months, from March to June. Recalls included Hepatitis A and Listeria monocytogenes contaminated frozen fruit, candles with overheating risks and cold brew coffee beverages potentially containing glass.

The local Orem Trader Joe’s store does what they can to keep up with manufacturer and product recalls.

Bryce Erickson, a manager at the Orem Trader Joe’s store, said they’ve already pulled all recalled product off the Orem store’s shelves.

“If anyone has those (recalled products), they can bring it back into the store or just let us know that they bought one and we’ll give them the full refund or even a new one if they’d like,” Erickson said.

When the Orem Trader Joe’s store receives an email about a product recall, Erickson said they pull the items off the shelves within the hour. Products like batches of cookies that are no longer edible are then disposed of. He said they inform their customers in-store as well.

“We have notices on our registers informing customers about what happened, and we do our best to make it right,” Erickson said.

As of July 26, both the Trader Joe’s Almond Windmill Cookies and the Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Chunk and Almond Cookies are out-of-stock at the Orem Trader Joe’s store. Store employees don’t know when they will be back in-stock.

Trader Joe’s issued apologies in its recall announcements and claims it holds itself to high-quality standards.

In an Inside Trader Joe’s podcast episode released in September 2018 titled “Quality,” Trader Joe’s executives discussed product recalls and what they mean for their company.

Erin Baker, the then vice president of marketing communication for Trader Joe’s, said that when it comes to the company’s products their decision-making is based on what’s best for the safety of the consumer.

“It’s not our bottom line and it’s also not about our reputation. It’s really about our customer safety and well-being,” Baker said.

Tara Miller, host on the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, said this mindset results in an increase of media coverage when Trader Joe’s has a recall. Miller claimed they do their best to inform the public when any kind of product, Trader Joe’s-owned or other popular products, needs to be recalled.

“We’re the ones who are communicating the most. So our name is at the top of those press releases from news agencies,” Miller said.

Whether it’s a Trader Joe’s brand product or just other products they sell, Baker said they handle recalls the same. Trader Joe’s releases their own statement, puts up notices in-store and alerts customers via their email list.

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