Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thoughts on food safety and flowers...

beautiful roses from Trader Joe's
I always cringed when I hear about food recalls and food-borne illness outbreaks in the news. As a person living with multiple chronic illnesses, I know I am much more susceptible to these pathogens. Heck, going out to dinner to a restaurant has taken on aspects of a Fear Factor challenge: I never know if I am going to get sick from what I ordered!

Recalled Eggs

So yeah, I freaked out when I got a call from Ralph's grocery stores here in Los Angeles that I had purchased eggs from that the skeevy Iowa egg farmer who had a history of violations dating back to 1994. How did they know? Apparently they accessed my shopping information from my Rewards Card. How 'Big Brother' of them...

In the recorded message, they gave me instructions not to eat the eggs and return them to the store. Only problem: I had already eaten the eggs!

So remember my mention of the "stomach flu" back in July...yeah, that probably wasn't a virus, it was probably food poisoning from salmonella.

Plastic Turkey Jerky

Continuing my streak of bad food luck, I found a piece of plastic in my Trader Joe's turkey jerky. I had collected all the little bits in the bottom of the bag and popped them into my mouth. Just as I was about to chop down on all that turkey jerky goodness, I felt something poke the top of my mouth. I'll spare you the details on how, but after that everything came out of my mouth for an inspection.

Wouldn't you know it, but that piece of plastic was the same color as the turkey jerky! I never would have spotted it in the package.

So I went to the Trader Joe's website and submitted a customer feedback form. And wouldn't you know it, the eggs I had bought from Trader Joe's were also being recalled! Robert confirmed that the carton in the refrigerator had the recalled Julian date stamped on it...and four eggs remaining in the package. Aargh!

All's Well That Ends Well

O.K, so it's clear I should be avoiding eggs and turkey jerky right now, but at least:
  • I didn't die from salmonella food poisoning.
  • I didn't choke to death on a piece of turkey jerky colored plastic.
  • I got a very nice response from Amy in Trader Joe's Customer Relations department in response to my feedback.
  • I got a full refund on the eggs and turkey jerky from my local Trader Joe's store.
  • I was give a complimentary bouquet of flowers by the manager at Trader Joe's. (see above picture)
Of course a warped thought passed through my sleep deprived and tired brain when I was offered my pick of any bouquet in the floral section. I commented to Robert, "They are probably happy to give me a free bouquet. After all, they don't have to pay for flowers and funeral expenses because I died eating their turkey jerky."

Check if you have recalled eggs.

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Unknown said...

Recalled or not, all the eggs in my house went into the garbage. Trader Joes really is great about customer service. Glad all's well that ends well.

Migrainista said...

So glad it ended well and all, but I agree with you about the food industry. My fantasy is to grow much of my own food.