If you frequent the ready-to-eat section at Trader Joe's, check your food's label before you pack it for lunch.

By Betty Gold
December 03, 2019
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Trader Joe’s just announced that it's recalling 10 refrigerated food products after its supplier, Fuji Food Products, Inc., issued a voluntary recall of ready-to-eat sushi, salads, and spring rolls sold to select retailers and distributors along the East Coast and Upper Midwest. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The full list of Trader Joe’s items—including California Rolls, Spring Rolls, Bahn Mi Inspired Noodle Bowls, Queso Fundido Spicy Cheese Dip, and more—is listed on its website. The potentially contaminated products were sold at stores in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin. All items are packed in plastic trays with clear lids.

It doesn’t end there. In addition to the Trader Joe’s private label items, 13 varieties of Okami sushi rolls sold at 7 Eleven, Walgreens, Food Lion, Hannaford, Giant Eagle Supermarkets, Porkys, Bozzutos, Supreme Lobster, and Superior Foods are also being recalled by Fuji. The entire list of affected items can be found on the FDA's website. 

The Listeria issue was discovered by the FDA during a routine inspection in Fuji Food Products’ Brockton, Mass. facility. The brand has stopped producing and distributing products in this facility to allow the FDA to continue its investigation as to what caused this problem.

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This is a first-time recall for Fuji Food Products. "As responsible processors of safe, fresh food for nearly 30 years, we are addressing this problem vigorously and we apologize to those who are affected by it," says Fuji Food Products CEO Farrell Hirsch. "We will restart operation only after we have eliminated the cause and the FDA certifies that our facility is once again free of possible contamination."

The good news is that there have been no illnesses or infections associated with these foods reported to date. However, if you think you may have purchased one of the recalled refrigerated foods, dispose of them immediately. According to the FDA, “Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail, or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.”

Fuji Food Products will continue to work closely with the authorities to investigate the issue. For inquiries regarding Fuji, consumers are welcome to call the customer service line at 1-888-667-1504.

Trader Joe’s will also issue customers a full refund if they’ve purchased one of the affected items. If you have any questions, you may call Trader Joe’s Customer Relations at (626) 599-3817 or send them an email.

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