Texas Tamale Co. Recalls Item Sold At Trader Joe's Due To Unlisted Milk

The unfortunate series of Trader Joe's recalls this summer continues with yet another product pulled from the shelves for health and safety reasons. There have already been possible rocks found in cookies and insect infestations in broccoli soup. Now, one lot of Texas Tamale Company Gourmet Black Bean Tamales are being recalled from Trader Joe's stores in nine states over unlisted milk content.

According to Texas Tamale Company's statement to the FDA, there was a "temporary lapse" in the assembly process that resulted in its Hatch Green Chile and Cheese Tamales product being packaged as Black Bean Tamales. With all the nutritional and allergen info listed on the external cloth bag and not the internal product packaging, the 1,632 mislabeled units were shipped with no indication of the cheese content within.

The recalled products were shipped exclusively to Trader Joe's locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Customers can identify the mislabeled tamales by a "best before" date of June 19, 2025, as well as lot number 17023 on the internal plastic packaging. While there is no inherent health and safety danger to those without dairy allergies, Trader Joe's is offering a full refund for all affected packages at any TJ's location.

The latest in a worrying string of Trader Joe's recalls

The mislabeled tamales mark the fifth incident between the span of late July to late August. Following the rock-laden windmill cookies and the insect-infested broccoli soup, Trader Joe's has also issued recalls over more potential rocks found in their frozen Fully Cooked Falafel product on July 28 as well as traces of metal in their Multigrain Crackers with Sunflower and Flax Seeds on August 17. Furthermore, this summer recall cluster is just the latest in many of 2023 TJ's health and safety issues. So far, there have been two separate frozen fruit recalls (Hepatitis A contamination in March and a Listeria risk in June), recalls of pesto and instant cold brew in early and late May respectively, and another undeclared allergen recall of chicken salad in March.

Of course, these recalls represent a very small fraction of Trader Joe's products, with most of the issues caused and declared by external manufacturers or suppliers. However, this trend of recalls may be pointing to a larger problem inherent to the brand itself. Public food and health safety expert Melvin Kramer told Vox that TJ's "blend of global and local foods made by small-batch producers” might be the culprit behind its increased risk factor in potentially faulty products. As the brand grows across the country and expands its inventory accordingly, customers can only hope that Trader Joe's keeps up and updates its rigorous product approval process to ensure consumer safety as much as possible.