Coming on the heels of recalls this year of barbecue chicken salad (Listeria, July) and peanut butter (Salmonella, September), Trader Joe's is now recalling nearly 5,000 pounds of butter chicken with basmati rice due to possible Listeria contamination, UPI reports.
The ready-to-eat frozen meals were imported from Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is working with the U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service on the recall. The U.S. agency will verify that U.S. companies sent shipments of the recalled products have been notified and have removed them from sale.
The recall is for 12.5-ounce boxes of Trader Joe's Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice with product code 2012-10-31 and lot code 30512.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service has zero-tolerance for pathogens in ready-to-eat foods at time of production, even if that food requires heating for proper serving, which might kill the bacteria.
The FDA said the recalled products may have gone to 18 stores in New York, 17 in Massachusetts, 13 in Virginia, 11 in New Jersey, nine in Pennsylvania, eight in Maryland and North Carolina, six in Connecticut, three in Florida, two each in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and one each in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine and Rhode Island. However, the department said the list may not include all retail locations that have received the product.
Trader Joe's says: "In accordance with our stringent health and safety standards [really?], and out of the utmost caution and care for our customers, all code dates of this product have been removed from sale and destroyed. To date, we have received no reports of illness related to this product. Customers who have purchased this item are urged to not eat it, and to dispose of it or return it to any Trader Joe's for a full refund. Customers with questions may contact Trader Joe's Customer Relations at (626) 599-3817 (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time). We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience."
Thing is, we've heard that same line one too many times before. Seriously, Trader Joe's. Get it together before we completely dump you for that big hunky Whole Foods down the street.