Alisa Fleming ~ For years I’ve been sharing my love for Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips with dairy-free viewers. They are generously sized, delicious (for snacking and baking), and had never been a problem for my family. For that reason, I thought it important to let you know about changes to the dairy-free status of those chocolate chips.
Photo courtesy of JewishJournal.com
The good news is, for those who aren’t dealing with a severe and/or life-threatening food allergy, the chips will remain dairy-free. The ingredients will still be dairy-free, and they semi-sweet chocolate chips will continue to be made on equipment dedicated to non-dairy chocolate. But, there is some bad news …
Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips are losing their kosher pareve status because of a change in the supplier’s packaging process. For the bagging process, the supplier will now use a dry cleaning procedure (Chocolate gets cleaned?!) with a machine that also packages milk chocolate products.
According to a statement from the kosher certifiers, the changes “triggered the need for an FDA regulated, dairy-related allergen statement, and this in turn brought about a change in the Kosher certification for our item — going from ‘Kosher Parve’ to ‘Kosher Dairy.’”
The fear isn’t so much of cross-contamination, but rather that errant milk chocolate pieces might (they say it is unlikely, but possible) make it into the semi-sweet chocolate bags, prompting a recall. They want to avoid the need for a recall by changing the kosher certification and adding a warning.
For those of you who are upset with this change to our beloved Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips, I do have some solutions ..
Sign the petition at change.org: “Trader Joe’s: Keep the Chocolate Chips Pareve!”
Like the Facebook campaign: “TJ’s please bring back the Parve (non-dairy) chocolate chips“
Go to the source: Contact Trader Joe’s and let them know you aren’t happy with the change.
Speak with your dollars: Choose another brand of dairy-free chocolate chips!