Cinnamon Toast Crunch has drawn criticism on social media after one of its customers received a cereal box contaminated with shrimp tails.
Writer and comedian Jensen Karp took to Twitter on Monday to draw Cinnamon Toast Crunch's attention to what appears to be shrimp tails found in his cereal box.
'Why Are There Shrimp Tails in My Cereal?"
"Why are there shrimp tails in my cereal?" he wrote on Twitter, tagging @CTCSquares, the cereal's official Twitter handle. The post was accompanied with an image showing the two shrimp tails found in his package of the square-shaped breakfast cereal.
The post instantly went viral, garnering thousands of tweets and retweets, and eventually becoming a trending topic on the platform, spurring some hilarious responses. Here are some reactions:
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Responds
Cinnamon Toast Crunch replied to Karp's post with a less-than satisfactory response, offering to "replace the box" while they report his findings to the quality team.
"We're sorry to see what you found! We would like to report this to our quality team and replace the box. Can you please send us a DM to collect more details? Thanks!," the company wrote.
Not long after, the General Mills-owned company put out another tweet claiming Karp's unusual findings were actually accumulated cinnamon sugar.
"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," the company tweeted.
Unconvinced by the company's apology and its claims of accumulated cinnamon sugar, Karp accused Cinnamon Toast Crunch of gaslighting him by providing additional evidence of his findings.
Social media users also echoed Karp's sentiments and criticized the company for not coming up with a reasonable explanation and endangering the lives of those with allergies.
"These are very clearly shrimp tails and this could actually kill someone with shellfish allergies. Stop trying to gaslight everyone and explain how this happened," wrote one user, while another commented. "Those are shrimp tails. What if someone there was allergic and ate from that cereal!!!!"
One user came up with a perfectly logical explanation behind the contamination:
Karp Also Finds 'Rat Droppings,' 'Dental Floss' in Cereal
Things took a turn for the worse when Karp tweeted that he went back through the packaging and found "black marks" on some of the cereal squares.
One Twitter user pointed out that the "black marks" could "most likely" be rat droppings baked into the squares.
Karp said his wife went through another cereal box to find what he says appears to be dental floss.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch later put out a statement stating that they were confident the contamination did not occur at their facility and implied that their cereal box was "tampered with."
Karp has is now having the shrimp tails by a crustacean researcher to confirm and identify the shrimp down to its species.
General Mills' Shrimp Contamination Controversy
This is not the first time a General Mills-owned company has found itself at the centre of a shrimp contamination controversy. In 2009, General Mills' contract manufacturer IndyBake Products LLC took a shipment of Adkin blueberries from Michigan-based Adkin Blue Ribbon Packing Company to be used in scones. The cases of frozen blueberries were found to have been tainted with "multiple pieces of shrimp." General Mills later sued the supplier over the blueberry shipment.