Do not open that box of Apple Jacks. According to a report Friday in the Christian Science Monitor, Kellogg Co. is recalling the apple-cinnamon-flavored cereal along with Fruit Loops, Corn Pops and Honey Smacks due to "an uncharacteristic off-flavor and smell" from the box liners.
How uncharacteristic and off? Apparently enough to make "sensitive" individuals vomit, the Food and Drug Administration says.
The FDA states that the chance of people becoming seriously ill is low, but Kellogg still is pulling 28 million boxes of cereal from store shelves across the United States. Products marked with the letters "KN" following the "better if used before" date notice are affected. No other Kellogg's products are part of this recall. The recalled products were distributed nationwide.
Kellogg undertook the voluntary recall after 20 customers complained of a "waxy" smell and flavor coming from the box liners. Others likened the taste to metal or soap. Five complained of nausea and vomiting.
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"We apologize to our consumers and our customers and are working diligently to ensure that the affected products are rapidly removed from the marketplace," David Mackay, president and chief executive officer of the Kellogg Co., said in a statement.
That didn't pass muster with the Feds. "When foods that are popular among kids are being recalled in large volumes, it is clear that our food safety system is not working," Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro told the Monitor in an email. DeLauro chairs a House of Representatives subcommittee that funds the FDA.
If you have one of the recalled cereal products, you can request a replacement by calling the Kellogg Consumer Response Center at (888) 801-4163 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern time. Meanwhile, Kellogg is trying to identify the substance on the liners that's causing the foulness.
So much for Toucan Sam following his nose.