If you have a nut allergy and you were looking forward to smashing a bag of your favorite cookies from Trader Joe's, read this first: According to the brand, Trader Joe's is recalling some chocolate chip cookies because of peanut allergens found in some of the products. The cookies are on store shelves on a dozen states, according to a statement released by the grocery-store chain: "We have been alerted by our supplier of Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip Cookies (Barcode#: 0068 0752) — sold only in our CT, DE, MA, ME, MD, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, Northern VA, VT, and Washington D.C. stores — that product with lot code 2060 and date codes SELL BY 031218 through 031818 may have been packed with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, and therefore may contain peanuts, which are not listed in the ingredients," the announcement from Trader Joe's read. (Bustle has reached out to Trader Joe's for comment on this recall.)
While Trader Joe's reported that no reported allergic reactions have been brought to their attention to date, people with peanut allergies could be at risk for life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume the cookies. All of the cookies have been removed from store shelves, but if you bought some in advance of this notice, make sure to check your bag to ensure it's not the one being recalled. The potentially peanut-tainted treats are manufactured by Chris’s Cookies, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"The recall was initiated after it was discovered that a bag labeled as Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Cookies instead contained Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies," the FDA noted on its website. "While there is a warning statement on the label that the product may contain traces of peanuts, peanuts is not listed as an ingredient." Peanut allergies are one of the most common causes of severe allergy attacks, according to the Mayo Clinic. "Peanut allergy symptoms can be life-threatening (anaphylaxis). For some people with peanut allergy, even tiny amounts of peanuts can cause a serious reaction."
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to peanuts include: runny nose, skin reactions like hives, redness or swelling, itching or tingling around the mouth or throat, digestive problems such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting, tightening of the throat, and shortness of breath or wheezing. In serious cases anaphylaxis can occur. This type of reaction can cause your airway to constrict, swelling of the throat, shock, rapid pulse, dizziness, lightheadedness, and even loss of consciousness, the Mayo Clinic noted.
"Peanut allergy occurs when your immune system mistakenly identifies peanut proteins as something harmful," the Mayo Clinic explained. "Direct or indirect contact with peanuts causes your immune system to release symptom-causing chemicals into your bloodstream." According to the Peanut Institute, 90 percent of all food allergies are causes by tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios ,etc.), peanuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy. However, scientists are still studying why so many people are allergic to peanuts.
"The science is not clear as to what causes peanut allergy. Both genetic and environmental factors appear to be involved. Family history, occurrence of eczema-type skin rashes, and exposure to soy protein were associated with the development of peanut allergy in childhood in one study," the Peanut Institute reported. "The most current data does not support the theory that if peanuts are eaten during pregnancy or infancy there is a greater chance that the child will end up with the allergy." If you have any questions about your Trader Joe's cookies you can call Trader Joe’s Customer Relations at 626-599-3817 Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time, or send an email. "If you purchased any of the Chocolate Chip Cookies with the specified lot and date codes and have a peanut allergy, please do not eat it," Trader Joe's said in its statement. "We urge you to discard the product or return it to any Trader Joe’s for a full refund."