Trader Joe's Maple Syrup recalled - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 02-13-2004, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I went to TJ's this morning and the shelf where they usu put the maple syrup was empty. I asked and they told me it was recalled!!!
I came home, did a quick search and found that they were recalled becoz TJS was selling low-quality maple syrup labelled Grade A!! Accordingly, the quality is so bad, it is like commercial grade.
I feel sick to the stomach!! I have been using their maple syrup A LOT!!!!

It makes me start to doubt the quality of stuff at TJS. They are rather cheap, but am I paying more in the long run in suffering quality??!!

Anyone in CA, or LA heard abt this? It's reported in LA Times btw.
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#2 of 16 Old 02-13-2004, 09:15 PM
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Yikes - I have a bottle in my refrigerator and it's pretty much all I use for sweetening things. As for what you say about quality, I have found several of their products to be low quality. The canned salmon is very fishy and once I found a whole spinal column in one. Needless to say I haven't bought it since. Now when I shop there, I try to stick with brand names.

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#3 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 01:20 AM
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huh? how bad is 'commercial grade'? 'cause i use grade b, for example, by choice when i can find it, just as it has more flavor/minerals... yeah, it shouldn't be mislabeled, but as far as i know that is just a color grading system, not like A= 'absolutely healthy' and B= 'blech, full of dead blackflies'!

haven't been in quite awhile (tho' sometimes my biomom sends me a gift basket), but i was always happy with the quality. and i find bones all the time in canned salmon, all brands. you can pick 'em out, or leave 'em in for more calcium, your choice. (i leave 'em in; in a salmon patty, who can tell?)

hope their quality control hasn't done something weird since they were bought out by aldi (sigh, i get *aldi* mkts here... oh yum, canned potatoes for 5 cents a can cheaper.) i miss that place. a pinic from there brought up to the hollywood bowl was always one of my favorite date nights.

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#4 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 08:49 AM
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LMAO- dead blackflies. I use the grade B, too.
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#5 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 11:51 AM
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yeah., B is usually preferred in tasting and recipes because of the better flavor...A is more refined, thinner, and less maple-y. A was preferred when people used it as their main sweetener rather than didn't want to taste maple as the main thng in everything you made...

got a link to the recall? OK , found an LA times article...they are not sure if it's B, or's the maple producers that are in a snit. Grading, of course, matters most to them becuase A gets a superpremium price. What they don't tell you is that the hoity-toity cooking magazines I read, and the boutique maple producers I buy from, prefer lower grade. and at the price TJ is charging, I don't think the consumer is being taken. The producers say it "hurts their image" and " people won't buy another bottle again". Like Log Cabin and Mrs Butterworth's being 100% fake aren't a bigger problem?

So follow what they decide...but the quality of maple syrup is pretty evident from looking at it and tasting it. So decide what *you* think it'w worth $$$. Grade A is 10-15$ per quart in NE, and way way more elsewhere. Commerical is supposedly around $5 quart. TJ was selling for $8. So I don't think that's unreasonable. The price charged for grade A, which is all you can get is some parts of the country, is silly to me, when I think B is better. The recall is mostly becase grades are standardized and labeling is supposed to follow it...not becuase what's in the bottle has been decided to be dangerous. The commerical grade is still used on food products like bacon, it's just not the superrefined "pancake" syrup. I like thicker darker maple syrup.

the grades represent how refined it much cooking down, etc. It does not reflect eating quality like in meats. totally different standard.
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#6 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 12:26 PM
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Actually, my friend, a professional vegan baker, told me the grades are misleading because A is the worst and B is the best. I had told her that I had Grade B syrup and asked her if that was bad and she set me straight. So now I avoid Grade A.
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#7 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 01:04 PM
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I'm not sure about one being better then the other...its a matter of taste
Grade A light is light in color and in taste. It is taken from the tree earlier in the season when the weather is colder.
Then there is
Grade A darker, yes as you guessed its darker and has more maple flavor. Its taken after it starts to warm. Its what most use for table syrup.
Grade A dark amber is as, as you guessed, darker and made later when its warmer out.
Grade B is made during late season and is very dark and very full of flavor...and has a sort of carmel flavor and is used for baking.

So its all a matter of taste.
I'm wondering why it was recalled? maybe to relable?
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#8 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 01:19 PM
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well, if a label says one thing, and the product is another...that is a problem, whether its 'better' or not.
I have also been concerned a bit about TJ, especially considering they are owned by Aldi's, the kings of low quality, bottom of the barrel processed foods.

some of their items are good, some are okay, and some are terrible (OMG the canned corn made me gag) but I havent been there for months...when I get sales at Wild Oats, it isnt really worth the trip to TJ, since its mostly 'entertaining' items and not loads of staples (the staples I can get cheaper on sale at Wild Oats or in Bulk at a co-op/regular store, etc)

they recalled 'wild oats' or 'whole foods' brand peanut butter one time, and when I read why, it was because some jars may of really of been almond butter.....ummm, unless you were allergic, I would be pleasantly surprised to get a more expensive, yummy product!!!
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#9 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 04:58 PM
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I don't want to register to get the whole article, but does anyone know specifically what type of bottle the syrup in question was?

Please don't throw the eggs at me, but until I purchased the bottle of grade A syrup (not in the maple leaf shaped bottles, but like the bottles that are like larger Tabasco sauce bottles) I honestly didn't care for maple syrup. To the point that I would only buy Log Cabin brand syrup. I wasn't a fan of the overly maple taste, nor of the thickness of the "traditional" maple syrup I'd always had.

The syrup I bought at Trader Joe's, however, made me happy to know that there WAS maple syrup out there I actually enjoyed.

If they stop having the type we have now, I'm going to cry. And probably buy Log Cabin again when we run out of what we have now. Which won't be for another year or two, with the amount I use it.

Now I must run off to hide in my shame of liking bad food...
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#10 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 06:04 PM
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i know what you mean, vein...we had Canadian and Vermont maple syrup...but they all taste almost like liquour or something, not really 'maple-y' but when i get Ohio maple syrup, its a darker, more maple flavor (the other stuff is more amber) maybe thats what the grades mean...hmmm

i am learning lots about syrup!
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#11 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 06:13 PM
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it get funnier...googling reveals each syrup-producing state and canada has a seperate grading system - they're not the same! Hahahahaha!
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#12 of 16 Old 02-15-2004, 11:56 PM
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I'll have to check the bottle in my fridge... I use a lot of their syrup. I think some of their products are gross- some fine. I love the frozen organic green beans. The peas were full of black seeds- ugh.

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#13 of 16 Old 08-14-2013, 02:50 PM
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Why would you buy can salmon anyways? specially when Trader Joe's has great frozen salmon. Sometimes when you buying canned is best to stick to high end brand name that you know you buying quality can goods.
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#14 of 16 Old 08-18-2013, 03:50 PM
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You can hardly get Grade B maple syrup here. The only kind I've found is in a 750ml bottle and costs $50. I did buy it once and it was amazing, but $50?


Made the best maple-walnut ice cream ever, though. Grade A stuff would have maybe had a faint maple taste, but the Grade B gave it an unmistakable rich, mapley flavour.

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#15 of 16 Old 08-24-2013, 02:59 PM
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The only info I could find about this lead me to believe that they used to get Grade A from a producer and now they get Grade B.  That they probably pulled all the old ones off the shelf before putting the new stuff out.  It was "grade A amber" which frankly wouldn't be able to tell you whether grade A, grade A amber, or grade A dark was closer to to grade B.  There isn't an international standard for grading and it is all about taste not quality.  


I prefer B and when I can find C or D I'm thrilled!  


That article says something along the lines that if someone bought this product they'd never buy maple syrup again?!!!??!  I don't know anyone irl that chooses grade A everyone I know wants B. It is way more mapley.  If you just want sugar syrup than fancy grade or A is for you.

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#16 of 16 Old 08-29-2013, 03:48 PM
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I didn't read all of these responses, but in response to one comment about grade A being "refined", it's not processed any differently than grades b or c.  I'm guessing that by commercial grade, they are referring to grade c...which is usually sold as cooking grade or used in baking b/c of the intense maple flavor.  there is nothing "wrong" with it, it's just the very last of the season for some sugarmakers. 


we boil our own syrup on our farm ( and prefer grade b (for ourselves) b/c of the stronger maple flavor. 


i'm sure there isn't anything wrong with the syrup from tj, if it's only recalled due to what grade it actually probably has the more minerals and less sugar content than whatever grade it was marketed as... ;)

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