Tuesday, February 28, 2017


I was researching Listeria recalls on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Website just now when I came across a recall of Trader Joe’s apple sauce in British Columbia, Canada. They had found pieces of glass. I immediately checked to see if there was also a recall in the United States. This is a product I eat. So it was no longer research. It was personal.

And yes, there was a recall. For some reason I had missed it in my mailbox (I am on the FDA recall mailing list). So I checked the jar of Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce I had sitting in my kitchen – not yet opened – and sure enough it had been recalled.

I really need to do a better job of reading my mail.

Anyway, three types of apple sauce are being recalled in the U.S. In Canada, it’s just the first two:

• Trader Joe's First Crush Unsweetened Gravenstein Apple Sauce with a barcode of 00015905 and best before date of Aug. 8, 2018.
• Trader Joe's Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce with a barcode of 00194877 and a best before date of Oct. 6, 2018.
• Trader Joe's All Natural Unsweetened Apple Sauce with a barcode of 00014359 and a best before date of Dec. 16, 2018. This brand of applesauce is not sold in Michigan.

So will you die if you have eaten some glass-laced applesauce? Ground glass has been used as the murder weapon in any number of mysteries. This method of murdering your enemies (or, your unwanted relatives) dates way back, at least 500 years. No doubt it's even longer since glass has been made for some 3,500 years.

But relax. Apparently it doesn’t work well. If it is ground too finely, it will do nothing to you, and if it is too coarse, you’ll probably notice it before you swallow. A cut in your mouth can be painful, but it won't be lethal. But if it does get into your GI tract, you might have a bit of bleeding, and in the worst case, anemia, but not much else. Getting the glass just right is very, very, difficult. So stick to arsenic or something more reliable if you want to do away with your mother-in-law.

But all the same, don’t eat that applesauce. Take it back to Trader Joe’s or Pirate Joe’s and complain.


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