Tomatoes, Trader Joe’s and BPA

trader joes tomatoes

Recently I posted an article titled 7 Foods Even Food Safety Experts Won’t Eat.  Item #1 is canned tomatoes.  The linings of cans contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) which has received a lot of attention in recent years.  It sparked a discussion on the Facebook page about which tomato cans were now BPA-free.  Tomatoes are especially concerning because the acidic nature of the tomatoes can increase the likelihood of toxins leaching from the can.  

There was some confusion about Trader Joe’s, so I emailed the company.  Here is their response to me on Feb. 19, 2013:

Dear Ms. Greene,
Thank you for contacting us.  Here is the deal with BPA.  First, regarding Tetra, all Tetra Pak is BPA-free.
Second, every glass jar item has a metal lid. All metal lids do have a layer of BPA coating. However, there is another coating put on after that. There is no direct contact of BPA to food. We have multiple supplier testing results showing there is no BPA detected from metal lids.
All our canned fish (and our canned chicken and beef too) are now in BPA-free cans EXCEPT: Sardines, Crab, Cherrystone Clams & Oysters (our suppliers are working for a solution next year).
All our canned fruits, beans and vegetables (including tomatoes, and the Organic Canned Pumpkin) are in BPA-free cans EXCEPT: Mandarins, Hatch Chilies, Artichokes, Organic Baked Beans (expecting transition this Fall).
All of our canned Soups and Stews (and including Joe’s Os) are in cans that DO have BPA. Some of our suppliers are expecting they will be able to make transition next year.
Lastly, Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream is in a BPA-free can.
I hope this helps!
Customer Relations 

While I am glad they are making strides to rid BPA from their cans, I wonder what it is being replaced with.  Some replacements may not be any safer than BPA.  And Consumer Reports recommends choosing fresh over canned when possible after finding BPA in many canned products.

Ideally, I avoid canned foods when possible, like cooking my own beans.  Tomatoes are difficult.  I want to can or freeze my own, but we’ll see how that goes this summer.  I have heard the Eden has tomatoes in amber glass jars, but I haven’t found them around here yet.  Anyone know where they can be purchased?

 Do you avoid  BPA where you can?  If so, how?

Top Photo by St0rmz used under Creative Commons license

This post has been shared at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways

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10 Responses to Tomatoes, Trader Joe’s and BPA

  1. Nancy March 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Thanks for the info. We’ve canned our own tomatoes for years but have supplemented with canned ones from the store…we’re hoping to continue getting a great tomato crop so we don’t rely on the store cans. It’s good to know about Trader Joes too…!! Thanks again for the post!

    • Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) March 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      You are welcome! I have tried growing my own, but alas I did not inherit my mom’s green thumb. I’m hoping to get tomatoes from nearby farms and can/freeze those.

  2. Helene November 16, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing!!! I had been wondering about bpa in canned tomatoes. Glad to know Trader Joe’s tomatoes do not have bpa.

  3. Christine Pasalo November 19, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    I was wondering the same about Trader Joe’s canned tomatoes since reading the 7 foods article (oddly, or not oddly, from a different source)! Thanks so much for going straight to the source and sharing the information.

    • Kristina December 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      You are most welcome, Christine!

  4. Becky December 15, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    I canned many jars of tomatoes for many years. But what about the lids that seal the tomato jars? Are they bpa free?

    • Kristina December 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      That’s a good question Becky. I’m not sure about canning lids. And honestly, the replacement for BPA could be even worse. I freeze a lot of food in canning jars. What makes me feel better about this is that most likely my food is not touching the lids so there’s little fear of leaching.

  5. Anna January 7, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

    Pomi makes great tomato products, in Tetra packs, available at World Market, Whole Foods, some grocery stores, and online at Amazon (with free shipping on 12 packs). I’ve also found the Eden products at Whole Foods. Additionally, Muir organic tomatoes are in cans without a BPA liner.


  1. RECIPE: Spinach Tortellini, Arugula and Tomato Soup | Dig This Jive: Christine Pasalo's blog - December 19, 2013

    […] diced tomatoes at Trader Joe’s not only because they offer an organic option but because I can be sure the cans are BPA-free. Since the broth is low sodium, don’t use low sodium canned diced tomatoes unless you want […]

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