People Are Finding Worms In Their TJ’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

If you’ve ever been to Trader Joe’s, then you might have encountered their extensive line of Everything But the Bagel flavored… everything. From potato chips to smoked salmon, TJ’s is obsessed with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.

rowannmckenzie per TikTok

But after some unsettling news that’s arisen over the past couple years, some shoppers are becoming a little less fond of this popular spice blend…

Worms In The Spice Aisle

All the way back in 2020, a TikToker revealed that she had found a live maggot-like worm in her jar of Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.

Just two weeks later, a second TikToker posted a similar video of an apparently dead worm that she found in her jar of the same spice.

A bunch of buzzworthy online sources picked the story up, including Mashed, The List, and The Daily Dot.

But three years later, this questionable seasoning blend is still flying off TJ’s shelves… So, what gives?

Has Trader Joe’s Responded?

Trader Joe’s doesn’t seem to have offered any response to the viral video or subsequent upset from shoppers across the internet. Apparently, they’ve just taken the approach of pretending that it’s entirely normal to sell seasoning blends playing host to live worms…

Worms Aren’t The Only Issue

I recently bought a jar of TJ’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning Blend (before I read the reports about worms… blegh), and I ended up throwing the whole thing out.

No, I didn’t find worms… But I kept running into a strange taste that didn’t sit well with me.

After eating the seasoning blend a few times, I kept noticing that whenever I bit into one of the black sesame seeds, my mouth would fill with the undeniable flavor of mold. At first, I thought maybe it was just a fluke. So, I tried one of the black sesame seeds on its own.

Sure enough, mold. The taste was undeniable.

I did some research into what black sesame seeds are supposed to taste like (thinking it might just be an acquired taste), but everything I read led me to believe that they are definitely not supposed to taste anything like mold.

So, upon reading that, I emptied out my entire jar into the garbage. Just a few days later, I ran across the news about the worms, and vowed to never buy a jar of this stuff again. Gross.

(Check out my review of TJ’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning here. Spoiler alert–I thought it was overrated even before I knew it was moldy and full of worms.)

Make Your Own DIY Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Judging by these upsetting recent events, it’s probably best to stick with making your own seasoning blends from scratch from here on out.

Luckily, Everything But the Bagel Seasoning is super easy to make and only requires a few basic ingredients.

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Sesame seeds
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Dried minced onion
  • Dried minced garlic
  • Sea salt (coarse granules or flakes)
  • Poppy seeds

In TJ’s version of this seasoning blend, the two main ingredients are sesame seeds and sea salt flakes, with smaller portions of the other four ingredients. But you can mix your blend however you choose, favoring the flavors you want to taste the most.

For some ideas and guidance, check out this simple copycat recipe from The Edgy Veg.

Just remember not to add any dried worms…

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