What a Man Finding Shrimp in His Cereal Has to do with Michigan
If you've been on Twitter over the last couple of days you may have seen something about shrimp and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Here's what happened.
Jensen Karp, whose bio describes him as a father, writer, and host of the podcast Talk Ain't Cheap, recently shared this photo of what appears to be shrimp tails in his bag of Cinnamon Toast Crunch:
Karp said he reached out to Cinnamon Toast Crunch (manufactured by General Mills) on social media about the shrimp tails and their response was:
After further investigation with our team that closely examined the image, it appears to be an accumulation of the cinnamon sugar that sometimes can occur when ingredients aren't thoroughly blended. We assure you that there's no possibility of cross contamination with shrimp.
An accumulation of sugar, huh?
I'm no scientist...but I'd put money on the fact that those are, indeed, shrimp tails and not an "accumulation of sugar".
Naturally, many people were questioning the validity of this claim accusing Karp of putting the shrimp there himself and so on. However, Karp has taken it as far as having a local lab test these tails to prove that they're shrimp. All of this has unfolded in the last 48 hours so the results have yet to return. This fiasco goes WAY beyond what I've detailed here. You should read the entire thread if you're in the mood for some mostly harmless internet drama.
However, this is not the first time that General Mills has had trouble with product contamination from shrimp.
A decade ago, in 2011, General Mills filed a lawsuit against Adkin Blue Ribbon Company, based in South Haven, over a shipment of blueberries that they claimed were contaminated with shrimp pieces.
News of the shrimp tails in the Cinnamon Toast Crunch is dominating the internet searches however, I was able to locate a sole article detailing the lawsuit. According to tcbmag.com, General Mills bought 1 million pounds of frozen blueberries and 240,000 pounds of fresh blueberries that would be used for scones. Those blueberries were shipped Indiana-based IndyBake Products, LLC, which is a manufacturer for General Mills. Upon receiving the shipment, IndyBake claims they found multiple shrimp pieces in a case of frozen blueberries.
Adkin then contacted their warehousing subcontractor and discovered that their blueberries were, indeed, being stored alongside frozen shrimp.
The article doesn't detail the results of the lawsuit however, it does mention that Adkin offered to replace the tainted blueberries.
All joking aside...
This is, actually, a very serious issue. Putting aside the fact that watching this unfold on Twitter has been wildly entertaining, contamination from shrimp has the potential to be deadly to certain people. According to Cleveland Clinic, approximately 2% of the population (or 6 million people) have allergies to shellfish. Some of those allergies may be mild but, some have the potential to be life threatening.
If there is a contamination issue either at General Mills' manufacturing plant or where the cereal is boxed it needs to be addressed immediately instead of being brushed off as "accumulations of sugar".
Where will this shrimp tail cereal journey take us? I have absolutely no idea. If you'd like to follow along you can find Jensen Karp on Twitter.
Before you go...
Just a fun fact that I discovered as I was writing this...Jensen Karp's wife is none other than Danielle Fishel who played Topanga on the show Boy Meets World. That means that a man named Karp is married to a woman named Fishel and they're both taking on a company because of shrimp tails.
Rationally, I know this has to be a coincidence. I know that. But, things like this make people believe we're living in a weird simulation and, honestly, I don't blame them. 😂