There are precisely three things one should ever expect to find in a box of cereal: cereal, a cheap plastic toy, or a random DVD with episodes of either Heathcliff or The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. If it’s not one of those three things, it definitely should not be in there. So, you can imagine mister Jensen Karp’s reaction when he found something that was very much not one of the three things in his morning bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
On Monday, as Karp was enjoying a bowl of cereal, when poured a little extra from the box, out came a couple of very suspiciously shaped objects. When he held them up to examine them, he realized that they bore a striking resemblance to shrimp tails. This is because they were shrimp tails.
“I get really grossed out, and I’m medicated for O.C.D., so this is a total nightmare for me,” he said in an interview.
Karp immediately sent a complaint email to General Mills, alongside posting pictures of his findings on Twitter. According to the brand’s own Twitter, Karp was mistaken.
“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,” the statement from Cinnamon Toast Crunch read. “We assure you that there’s no possibility of cross contamination with shrimp.”
After the denial, Karp renewed his efforts to investigate the tainted cereal box, and discovered several more alarming objects, including additional shrimp skins, some kind of string, what may have been a pistachio, and perhaps most worryingly, several small black pieces that he was concerned may have been rat droppings.
Ok, we’ll 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? https://t.co/7DmADmoqUt pic.twitter.com/rSLE60pvoy
— Jensen Karp (@JensenKarp) March 22, 2021
As Karp got his cereal in a two-pack, he inspected the bag in the other box to see if it also had abnormalities, and discovered a line of clear tape along the bottom, indicated that the bags may have been tampered with.
“While we are still investigating this matter, we can say with confidence that this did not occur at our facility,” Mike Siemienas, a representative for General Mills, wrote in an email. “We are waiting for the consumer to send us the package to investigate further. Any consumers who notice their cereal box or bag has been tampered with, such as the clear tape that was found in this case, should contact us.”
Karp is planning on holding onto one of the tainted bags and plans to send samples of its contents to various labs to determine their exact nature.