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Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chips Go Dairy – Say It Ain’t So, Joe


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It was a half-baked idea from the start. According to news reports, a change in the cleaning process on the baggage line of Trader Joe’s chocolate chips prompted a Food and Drug Administration warning label alerting those with milk allergies. Suspicious, OK kosher certification, based in Brooklyn, investigated and found that machines used for bagging the dark chocolate morsels are no longer wiped thoroughly after processing milk chocolate chips. While this might not be a problem on Shavuot, when Jews traditionally enjoy dairy desserts, it created a panic in the kosher community who require pareve (non-dairy) desserts following a meat meal.

Foodies, homemakers, vegans and bakers have taken to social media to decry the change and shoppers who ran out to Trader Joe’s to grab the last bags have been greeted by empty shelves. Earlier this week I went to the Trader Joe’s in Westchester and there was not a chip to be found. “That’s the way the cookie crumbles,” I ruefully explained to my kids who had been hoping for muffins to enjoy at school this week.

Of course, there are other nondairy chocolate chips available at kosher markets and online. However, Trader Joe’s has been a fan favorite because of its rich chocolate taste and reasonably high cacao content. It is hard to find an alternative that is  as good and why so many cooks are willing to stir up a little cocoa controversy.

There is a Facebook Page and a  Change.org  petition has over 4,200 signatures, and that number is certain to grow after a front page Wall Street Journal article this morning. Petitioners are hoping that Trader Joe’s will reconsider after seeing the response of their consumers and return their chocolate chips to pareve status.

How are you handling the chocolate chip change? Give us a shout below and we’ll make sure Joe gets the message.


Photo courtesy of Flickr – Comp4Me under Creative Commons

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About Tamar Genger MA, RD


Tamar lives in New York and is the mother of three amazing children, a Registered Dietitian, professor of Nutrition, and as you can probably guess, a foodie! Tamar loves to travel with her family and visits kosher restaurants wherever she goes. Although she loves the sights, she spends more time talking about the restaurants and food she ate! As a mom and a nutritionist, Tamar tries to balance her passion for healthy cooking with her insatiable desire for chocolate!




5 Responses to Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chips Go Dairy – Say It Ain’t So, Joe

  1. a total travesty if this is to be! was “formerly” the best most readily accessible pareve choc chip on the market!!!

  2. avatar says: cooker613

    As there are many places where there are no Trader Joes, frankly who cares? Love the site, but it is a little NYcentric.

  3. avatar says: crystll

    I don’t keep kosher, but there are plenty of Trader Joes in places other than NY and plenty of people who keep kosher that would be affected by this. Granted, it’s not on a par w/ some of the more drastic current events, but if it’s a simple enough solution to fix, why not fix it? The problem w/ this world today is too many people don’t care, unless it affects them directly. Care a little bit, even if the outcome doesn’t affect you. Maybe you can make it a nicer world to live in if you do.

  4. cooker613, Trader Joes actually started out in California and is relatively new to the New York scene. I don’t live near one, but my sister had brought me their choc chips when she would come to visit, I will miss them, but it is not the end of the world. I found some good ones at Whole Foods.

  5. avatar says: anngeri

    More upset than I can imagine. My dad shared the bad news from the Wall Street journal erev Shabbos. First chance I ran over this morning only to see the travesty for myself. So angry I left before remembering I needed jars of marinara sauce. These chips have been a staple in my pantry for as long as I can remember Trader Joes opening in my neighborhood.
    PLEASE SIGN THAT PETITION remner how well the Dunkin Hines potions worked to change their formula back to pareve!

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