FDA Investigates General Mills After Complaints Roll In on “Lucky Charms” Cereal for Possible Poisoning
Edited by: TJVNews.com
Two weeks ago, the New York Post reported that the Food and Drug Administration is investigating why hundreds of consumers have reported becoming ill after eating Lucky Charms cereal. The report indicated that consumers registered complaints that they were experiencing diarrhea and vomiting after digesting the General Mills cereal.
A web site known as iwaspoinsoned.com that tracks foodborne illnesses, received complaints about Lucky Charms from over 4500 people. Many said that their excrement came out green.
Most of the complaints were registered subsequent to the Post report of April 1st..
The Food and Drug Administration told the Post that now that they have been alerted to the reports, they are “looking into the matter.”
Thus far, the FDA has sought the assistance of multiple states in the ongoing probe of the illnesses brought on by the consumption of Lucky Charms. The Post reported that General Mills has not provided consumers with an adequate response to their justified grievances.
Four states including New York, Michigan, Kansas and Arkansas have asked their respective health departments to contact and interview Lucky Charms consumers who have reported bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, according to customers and state officials and as was reported by the Post.
A spokesperson for the New York Department of Health told the Post that it has received eight complaints “potentially associated with Lucky Charms cereal,” adding that it is “in communication with the FDA to help inform their investigation.”
Also speaking to the NY Post was Chris Sours, a resident of Coldwater, Michigan. He told the newspaper that an official from the Branch Hillsdale Health Department contacted him on Friday and inquired about the four-day bout of diarrhea and vomiting that his 3 year old daughter had after eating Lucky Charms last month. Sours also told the Post that a state health official is expected to pick up what’s left in the box.
“When you go to the grocery store and buy something, you should be able to eat it safely and not have to deal with what happened to us,” Sours told The Post. He bought his Lucky Charms at a local Walmart and said, “I’m done with that Walmart. I haven’t been back since.”
The Post also reported that on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the FDA updated the investigations page on its website to include the Lucky Charms probe for the first time. The number of complaints the agency has received has risen to 231 — from 100 last week. The Post reported that the pathogen or cause of the illnesses is unknown, according to the website.
“The FDA takes seriously any reports of possible adulteration of a food that may also cause illnesses or injury,” the agency said in a statement to The Post, adding, “Complaints of a less serious nature or those that appear to be isolated incidents are monitored and the information may be used during a future inspection of a company to help the FDA identify problem areas in a production plant. The complaints are also discussed with company management during these inspections.”
A woman named Karen from Fayetteville, Arkansas told the Post that after ingesting the cereal on March 31st as a midnight snack, she experienced violent diarrhea.
When registering her complaint to General Mills, she told the Post that she received an apology letter from the company saying that they were sorry that “our product did not meet your expectations.” The Post reported that the company included two $7 coupons redeemable for the company’s cereals, which also include Honey Nut Cheerios, Trix and Cocoa Puffs.
“I’m like, you’ve got to be kidding me,” she told The Post. “I was irritated and I thought, ‘Honestly if this their response, they are not going to do anything.’”
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment also confirmed that it is working with the FDA in its investigation and the Arkansas health department has also begun its outreach to affected residents, according to the Post report.
In a statement sent to the Post, General Mills insisted that the illnesses are not linked to its cereal and that it has investigated its manufacturing facilities.
“We have investigated claims from a variety of sources — those made on the internet, through media inquiries, and directly to us and the FDA,” the company said in a statement. “To date, we have not found any evidence of consumer illness tied to our products.”