You always find love where you least expect it. The same goes for shrimp tails. At least, that’s the case for Jensen Karp, a TV writer who took to Twitter this week to complain that he found shrimp tails, as well as what appeared to be rat droppings and dental floss, in his box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
The saga began Monday when Karp tweeted, “Ummmm why are there shrimp tails in my cereal? (This is not a bit).” Karp then shared the photo of the cereal package, which contained two mysterious objects that looked undeniably crustacean.
Karp tagged Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s official Twitter account in the tweet, at which point the brand responded with an apology and an offer to replace the box. “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,” @CTCSquares wrote.
“Ok... after further investigation with my eyes, these are cinnamon coated SHRIMP TAILS, you weirdos. I wasn’t all that mad until you now tried to gaslight me?” Karp fired back.
Karp then went back through the entire offending bag of cereal and shared his findings, which included mysterious black spots on some cereal squares and a piece of what appeared to be dental floss in another bag in the cereal family pack. Karp’s rapt audience suggested the black spots were mouse or rat droppings, and that the other objects had been left behind by scavenging rodents. Meanwhile, some Twitter users also had a whale of a time joking about “General Krills,” while others realized that Karp is married to Danielle Fishel, who played Topanga on Boy Meets World.
As another Twitter user pointed out, this isn’t the first time General Mills has dealt with crustacean contamination. In 2009, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reported that General Mills contract manufacturer IndyBake Products LLC took a shipment of Adkin blueberries that was contaminated with shrimp pieces. Fortunately, the manufacturer caught the shrimp before they were mixed into blueberry scones.
As of Tuesday morning, Karp had reported his findings to the California Costco where he purchased the cereal. He also contacted Poison Control, as he had, unfortunately, eaten an entire bowl of cereal before finding the shrimp tails and other disconcerting tidbits. Karp also tweeted that a carcinologist (read: crustacean researcher) planned to “morphologically identify the shrimp using microscopy.”
This morning, Karp shared emails in which General Mills asked Karp to either mail them the packaging and the offending shrimp tails or provide the items to local law enforcement, suggesting that the shrimp tails/rat poop/dental floss may have been the result of “product tampering.” We’re watching the shrimpy saga closely (along with the rest of the world), so stay tuned for updates. And maybe go through your own breakfast cereal with a fine-tooth comb.