Man find shrimp tails and maybe rat poo baked into his Cinnamon Toast Crunch

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Warning this is gross, you can imagine how gross it is from the title
First if all, I know this sounds like a case of someone sneaking a foreign object into food and claiming it was there all along, but I’ve been reading this thread and am convinced. Jensen Karp is a writer, comedian and podcaster who is married to Danielle Fishel, the actress who played Topanga on Boy Meets World. He found shrimp tails and what looks like rat poop baked into the cereal in a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch he bought at a Costco. Yes he ate some before he noticed it. He tweeted the photo below and shared screenshots of the way the company’s social media person, and their official email account completely screwed up their response to him.

At first the Cinnamon Toast Crunch social media person dismissed it, telling him it was sugar clumps.

They then told him he could send the pieces to them for analysis in an envelope, which they changed to having FedEx pick it up. They also claimed to have left him a message, which they did not.

After that they told him to go to the police, which is so ridiculous!

Because of how much General Mills screwed up their response, he decided to bring the box to a lab for testing.

As of publication, he is still waiting for results but what else could it be?

What if his kid ate this? It’s one thing if I ate it, but I would be livid if my child ate this! (He still eats stuff off the floor, but still.) What if someone who was allergic to fish ate this? I hate to imagine the scenarios where half eaten shrimp and rat droppings end up baked into a cereal, but they are not good and are making me rethink my consumption of just about all packaged food. I watch a lot of How It’s Made and some of the vats in those factories are huge. Hopefully this is just a one off but I bet it points to a problem at a specific place. General Mills has a huge PR problem now that they handled this so poorly.

Also, if you saw my response to this thread it’s a line and gif from Shark Tales! I know hardly anyone remembers that movie but my kid used to watch it a lot.

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35 Responses to “Man find shrimp tails and maybe rat poo baked into his Cinnamon Toast Crunch”

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  1. Lady Luna says:

    That is so gross! I just ate.

  2. Lauren says:

    In Italy whenever something weird is found in a box, jar, bottle of whatever sort of food it is promptly recalled by the company and the announcement is carried out to all venues selling the contaminated food. It’s listed on the supermarket front entrance, on their websites wherever. To see General Mill blowing this so completely is flabbergasting. There are people with deadly allergies to shell fish and just eating the cereal that came in contact with the shrimp might be deadly.

    • Tanguerita says:

      same in germany. There is always a general product recall, money returned no questions asked, it’s on the news and on the website, apologies issued, etc.

    • Emm says:

      That sounds like the correct way to respond to these kinds of things. Here in the US though the answer is always F$&@ it. When the govt let’s corporations set their own guidelines, be their own watchdogs and let’s companies run with an honor system (let’s not even get into lobbyists) then you get the US where anything goes.

  3. Abby says:

    My kids eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch every day. Yikes on a bike!!

    That tweet about Karp/Fishel/Topanga Avenue /topanga/Shrimp pistols blew my mind though. So crazy.

    I’m really weirded out by the cereal company’s unprofessional response.

    • Emm says:

      I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch, haven’t eaten in it years but it reminds me of my childhood.

      Anyway, yeah I’m invested in this story. I came across it last night and went to his Twitter and read all of the tweets to my husband. We were both horrified by the pictures and GMs response but his tweets were so funny I had tears I was laughing so hard. The part about going to a random police station had me dying. We also eat large amounts of Honey Nut Cheerios in this family so I’m questioning whether to continue.

      Also, we had a mouse in our apartment when we first got married and those are exactly what the droppings look like. It also got into our bag of cat food and the droppings were all over in and it had to be tossed. We moved because we could never find it.

  4. Bros says:

    Can’t wait for the carcinologist’s results. Exactly what I would do if GM tried to gaslight me and tell me to hand all the evidence to them by fedex. Can’t wait until they determine that it was baked/cooked and has the same baked and cooked cinnamon and sugar as the rest of the cereal.

  5. Lucy2 says:

    Ewwwww. And dangerous.
    I’m having a hard time understanding why they are certain it didn’t happen at their facility. If it were tampered with or damaged, there would be evidence on the box, and isn’t cereal usually in a plastic bag inside the box? It seems highly unlikely that it would’ve happened at some point between packaging and purchase, with no shrimp tail sized holes in any of the packaging.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Exactly! Cereal isn’t just dumped loosely into a box, so unless General Mills is suggesting that the guy tampered with it after pouring it out, that accusation is so ridiculous. And like you said, this is dangerous. Aside from the risk of allergies from the shrimp tails there was possibly poop too?? I mean, it’s the very definition of contaminated, unhygienic, dangerous…pick your word.
      Makes me very glad that I rarely eat cereal.

      • SusieQ says:

        I’m deathly allergic to shrimp, so reading this story gave me a mini panic attack.

  6. Genevieve says:

    My stepdad worked nights at a cookie factory when he was in university (so, like 50 years ago). But to this day, because of what he saw other employees do, he won’t buy that brand. Sometimes the tampering is from within.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      This. GM had a whole g d lot of nerve to say without any kind of inspection/ investigation that the cereal was clearly contaminated *after* it left the factory. That’s pure bs. They have at this point no ability to make that claim. Disgusting.

  7. ncboudicca says:

    I’m almost through an entire box of that stuff. Remainder going into the garbage now…I feel sick!!

  8. MangoAngelesque says:

    They’re a cute couple. That’s all I’ve got. The rest is too freaky.

    Though I do LOVE that he up and carted that box off to a full-blown lab by his own self. Ha!

  9. square_bologna says:

    I like Mr. Karp, he’s formidable and hilarious! And on a more serious note, I so sympathize about the unregulated crapola in the cereal. Especially the rodent … evidence. My apartment building has had mouse issues off and on for years. It’s bad enough to find that stuff in a corner of the floor. If it were in my FOOD … And yeah, I know stuff gets into food, but rodent poop clustered in the bottom of a cereal bag is beyond.

  10. Sue says:

    I was absolutely going to have Cheerios for breakfast…also made by General Mills. That’s not happening anymore. Ew, ew, ew.

  11. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    I’ve been following this story and it’s been a ride, y’all!

  12. klutzy_girl says:

    I can’t believe it took Twitter a whole day to figure out that Jensen’s married to Danielle. Literally the only reason I even know about him in the first place is because of her!

    And this story continues to be gross.

  13. O says:

    Back in the 90s my dad found some dried up bugs in some General Mills cereal. He taped the dried up bugs to a scathing Dad letter and mailed it off to the highest power he could find at the time. Within a week we received a HUGE box of General Mills products. It’s pretty disgusting to think about as an adult but as a kid it was like Christmas morning because my parents NEVER bought “fun” cereal or brand name products if they could avoid it.

  14. Margot says:

    The photo of the seatbelted box made me laugh.

    Question: Do people eat this kind of cereal for breakfast or is it more of a treat? I think I would really crash if I started my day with CTC.

    • ClaireB says:

      I fed it to my kids this morning, so this freaked me out! But my kids only get a sprinkling of it on top of their Cheerios, instead of a whole bowl of this stuff.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      Once, about 30 yrs ago, when I had to take my computer in for service (desk model, and the “brain” part was HUGE), I put it in the passenger seat and belted it in! lol I was driving my red convertible, too. Cop stopped me for speeding (I was *guilty look*), he looked in the car, started laughing, said it was the funniest thing he’d seen in a long time, and let me go with a warning! lol

  15. Christine says:

    Someone at the factory had shrimp cocktail for lunch?

    I had a boss who worked at an envelope factory and had some stories. I will never again lick another envelope.

  16. Renee says:

    I have been following this on Twitter and am obsessed with it. First, this guy, Jensen, is so witty. Secondly, this is disgusting and General Mills PR are idiots. What are they thinking by not giving a better response? Lastly, I will not be buying General Mills cereal just on principal alone.

  17. Banana says:

    Not to mention the daily dosage of roundup (glyphosate) in General mills, Quaker, and Kellogg. Why wouldn’t there be random junk in their cereal like shrimp tails and who knows what else? Wake up you guys. They’re evil, very unconcerned corporations. Stop eating this crap, and don’t feed it to your kids ffs.

  18. L4frimaire says:

    Been following this and it’s wild. It made The NY Times. Some food safety people chimed in on his tweets and they think a rat made a nest in the flour mix, and this is a huge contamination problem. People were also posting images of gross things they found in their food—- do not buy bottles ice tea because yuck. I’ve found plastic, bugs, and ground up bone fragments but nothing this disgusting. General Mills Ed’s to do a recall and thoroughly inspect the plant this came from. The fact they tried to dismiss it and bungled it so badly shows they are really incompetent and totally gaslighting him.

  19. ChloeCat says:

    When I was a kid, we had two instances of this happening. Back when Coke was in bottles (yes I’m that old), there was a mouse in a bottle; Coke sent us several cases of soda to make up for this. Another time my mom bought artichoke hearts in a jar. There was a large black bug in it. They sent us a case of artichoke hearts. It’s really gross when you discover foreign objects in your food. The only thing I’m a bit suspicious of is finding both the shrimp tails and rat poo in one box, but maybe it could be that their factory is a real mess.

    • Emm says:

      If you go through his Twitter you will see people talking about how it looks like something made a nest in the ingredients and the shrimp tails, strings (yes there were a couple of strings), and this weird pea looking thing covered in cinnamon and sugar were it’s scavenged items. It all makes too much sense to me and I’m absolutely sick to my stomach.

  20. tealily says:

    Small point, but it looks like mouse poo, not rat poo.* Rat poo is slightly larger and more of a teardrop shape.

    *I realize this is no comfort.

  21. lise says:

    on the one hand, this is disgusting.

    on the other hand, it reminded me that cinnamon toast crunch is a thing and now i kind of want some…

  22. godivalady says:

    so apparently this guy might have faked the whole thing, and also he was abusive to past partner(s). milkshake duck

    • lobstah says:

      I was coming to comment on that as well. Multiple women have tweeted about him being incredibly abusive during their relationship.

      • 3mom says:

        Yeah, this story really took a turn. Who knows, but I suspect both are true – he found gross stuff in his CTC cereal *and* he’s an abusive jerk who was not expecting to be called out.