E.coli Scare Is a PR and Marketing Nightmare for Trader Joe’s

An E.coli scare of proportions hit several states across the USA, including California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Texas. The outbreak caused illness in 26 people in three states, according to recent reports.


The foods, sold by California-based Glass Onion Catering, were produced between September 23, and November 6, 2013. The company was forced to recall 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products with fully-cooked chicken and ham that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). A complete list of recalled produce will be available on the FSIS website.

Among the contaminated foods, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration listed several products sold at Trader Joe’s, including 10.7 oz. plastic containers of “TRADER JOE’S Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken” and 11 oz. plastic containers of “TRADER JOSÉ’S MEXICALI SALAD with Chili Lime Chicken.”

Although Trader Joe’s is not responsible for manufacturing the goods, the retailer is affected directly by this E.coli scare, as Trader Joe’s recalls was one of the main key phrases trending in search in the past 24 hours, and several publications focused their headlines on Trader Joe’s too, perhaps because three of the people affected in Washington reported that they contracted the illness after eating ready-to-eat salads from Trader Joe’s.

However, Trader Joe’s is not the only retailer named in this recall. The company is joined by Walgreens, Whole Foods, Super Fresh Goodsk, and Delish.

We recommend they review the Everything-PR list of crisis PR firms and consider hiring one of them. 

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