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USDA warns Trader Joe’s popular pilaf may contain rocks

The USDA has received complaints of rocks being found in Trader Joe’s frozen chicken pilaf, but there’s no recall because it’s not currently being sold.
The rear side of the Trader Joe's.
Trader Joe’s has recalled plenty of products in the past year.Diane Macdonald / Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a public health alert for a chicken pilaf sold at Trader Joe’s that may be contaminated with rocks.

The federal agency said in a release on Feb. 7 that it received multiple consumer complaints of finding rocks in 14-ounce packages of Trader Joe’s Chicken, Lentil & Caramelized Onion Pilaf that were sold nationwide. One person reported a dental injury from eating the pilaf.

There is no recall of the product because it’s no longer available for purchase, according to the USDA. The chicken pilaf was produced from Nov. 1, 2023, through Jan. 19, 2024, and bears the establishment number “P-45322” inside of the USDA mark of inspection.

An alert has been issued for a popular chicken pilaf sold at Trader Joe's for possible contamination with rocks.
An alert has been issued for a popular chicken pilaf sold at Trader Joe's for possible contamination with rocks.Courtesy Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

Consumers with questions about the public health alert can call the producing establishment, Mama Vicky’s, at 818-583-0003.

People with the chicken pilaf in their freezers are urged to throw it away or return it. Trader Joe’s announced that anyone who purchased it can return the pilaf for a full refund.

The grocery chain also announced on Feb. 7 that it has recalled three products connected to a deadly listeria outbreak that has sickened dozens and been linked to cheese and other dairy products sold by California-based Rizo López Foods.

Trader Joe's said its Chicken Enchiladas Verde, Cilantro Salad Dressing, and Elote Chopped Salad Kit have all been recalled. The products are made with cotija cheese by Rizo López Foods and could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The Rizo López Foods recall encompasses roughly 60 products sold nationwide at grocery stores and deli counters. The listeria outbreak has made at least 26 people in 11 states sick dating back to 2014, and two people have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Listeria is a bacteria found in water, soil and animal feces, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of listeria infection include vomiting, fever, headache, muscle aches and neck stiffness, according to the CDC.

The recalls for the cheese products and the chicken pilaf are the latest at Trader Joe’s after a spate of recalls this past summer.

At one point, the company had six recalls in six weeks. Trader Joe’s removed two separate types of cookies and a popular falafel for potentially containing rocks, recalled crackers for metal contamination, removed a soup when insects were found in the broccoli, and recalled black bean tamales for containing undeclared milk.