I was checking out at Trader Joe’s a couple days ago when I noticed a note taped to the raised chunk of wood customers use to sign checks. Customers were being warned to not eat Chocolate Chip Chewy Coated Granola Bars or else risk getting a serious food-related illness.
The first thing I said to the cashier: “That’s my kids’ favorite granola bar.” The second thing I said: “The note is too late. If you’re here again to shop, you’ve already eaten them.” He didn’t seem to understand what I meant by that, but I didn’t make a bigger deal about it since we hadn’t bought any recently.
I forgot about the incident until this morning, when a blogger, who had a different – but equally valid beef with the recall – reminded me I need to post on this topic. (The blogger was irritated that the word “salmonella” was conveniently left off the store recall notice.)
Now, if you recall your recalls, Trader Joe’s has been snagged a couple times in the last few years. The two that affected our family directly involved peanuts in granola bars and glass in Pinjur sauce.
But I’m beginning to suspect the problem runs deeper than that. About a year ago, Trader Joe’s stopped carrying my kids’ favorite chicken nuggets. When I asked the manager at our local store why the nuggets were gone, he looked it up on the computer. Apparently, there were “quality” issues at the manufacturer.
So here I was, standing with a cart full of food in TJs being told that my kids’ favorite product in the whole world had quality issues! Good grief!
A few months later, the chicken nuggets returned in a different box. The kids did not at all like the new ones, which seemed more processed.
While I have long been a fan of TJs, my patience with their quality issues is running a bit thin. In fact, the only reason I continue going there is price and some other favored products. That’s important to a family living on a greatly reduced income. But this latest recall, and the way it is being handled, is making me reconsider my food options.