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FDA Investigating Reports of Illness From Lucky Charms Cereal

FDA Investigating Reports of Illness From Lucky Charms Cereal

The reports come after thousands of people have complained on a consumer website.

Lucky Charms cereal is “magically delicious.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also investigating Lucky Charms after reports of illnesses allegedly linked to the marshmallow-rich cereal.

Food and Drug Administration officials said they are examining reports from more than 100 consumers who told the agency that they got sick after eating Lucky Charms cereal recently.

The reports come after thousands of people have complained on a consumer website, saying they have experienced nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after eating Lucky Charms.

“The agency is currently reviewing and investigating these reports,” an FDA spokeswoman said.

General Mills, the maker of the iconic cereal, denies that consuming Lucky Charms causes adverse health effects.

Andrea Williamson, a spokeswoman for General Mills, which makes the cereal, said in a statement on Monday that internal investigations had “not found any evidence of consumer illness linked to the consumption of Lucky Charms.”

The company takes consumer reports seriously, Ms. Williamson said.

“Food safety is our top priority,” she said. “We encourage consumers to please share any concerns directly with General Mills to ensure they can be appropriately addressed.”

On the other hand, the reports submitted to the consumer website ( are very consistent. Most complaints focus on severe stomach issues, and many come from worried parents and grandparents.

“My daughter became very sick. 102.7 temp, vomiting, stomach pain and chills. She isn’t able to keep sips of water down. I asked her about everything she had eaten and drank in the past 24 hours and couldn’t figure it out until I saw the news report,” one consumer from Grand Forks, N.D., posted over the weekend.

“Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and horrible belching with an awful taste, almost chemical. Household of 4 all experienced the same thing,” a consumer from Defiance, Ohio, reported.

“I bought Lucky charms for my son and grandson. They both had nausea and stomach pains. We all ate the same except the Lucky Charms. They ate it several days in a row as a afternoon snack and would get these symptoms,” another consumer from Blairsville, Ga., wrote. “No more Lucky Charms and they are both ok now.”

Typically, pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses die when the cereal is baked. Hopefully, the problem will be identified and not related to food tampering, especially since that cereal brand is a childhood favorite.

It is also the only cereal I eat on the rare occasions I have cereal.


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taurus the judge | April 20, 2022 at 7:12 am

I’ve done a good deal of work with many food producers (none were GM however) and have serious doubts these alleged incidents are rooted in the product proper given modern HACCP procedures. (It could happen and has happened but real incidents are rare)

If I were to wager, I would focus on secondary contact contamination from elements of the packaging.

I say that because checking that is not normally a check point on the food manufacturing process ( so the manufacturer wouldn’t necessarily see it even when cleaning/sterilizing everything else).

Also, many chemicals wont show up on biological testing.

And, I know paper companies are changing recipes so there may be new and dangerous chemicals present.

    Is it possible that we are importing ingredients without proper testing for contamination? We have good reason to be paranoid about all of our imports from China, the largest exporter of fentanyl into the US. They also control our domestic meat packing companies and I’m not so sure that we can trust the USDA anymore either. It just doesn’t seem that our government is looking out for us anymore.

    As for Lucky Charms… why do people still eat that crap anyway? It’s just sugar-coated sugar.

      taurus the judge in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 20, 2022 at 8:12 am

      Its very possible but unlikely to be the cause of the incidents (as reported) assuming the reports are accurate.

      Basically there are 2 types of contamination ( little more but this is for conversation purposes)

      3rd element contamination ( anything external to the product proper)
      Biologicals (stuff that grows)

      Usually 3rd elements are easily caught and traced upon discovery and the telltale evidence is that “everything” containing the 3rd element is equally contaminated ( which is often how they are found)

      Biologicals can be induced anywhere in the process so can pass many tests.

      Normally cleaning, cooking and sterilizations take care of these but sometimes they do slip by.

      The big problem is post processing ( bagging/boxing/storage/shipping). About the only tests there are gauss meters for metals.

      Based on the “media description” of the symptoms ( very generalized) and not seeing any testing results- I believe the most likely culprit to be induced 3rd element contamination.

      I guess we wait and see.

      taurus the judge in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 20, 2022 at 8:18 am

      One afterthought- leaching and contact.

      Some companies test random samples of packaged goods as part of the QA/QC ( lab test and eat them in meetings even)

      There are known examples where the proximity ( time from packaging to testing) is too short for said chemicals or other reactions to occur so even though they are happening they are not up to a level of detectability when tested but get there sitting on a pallet somewhere or a shelf.

    Thank you for the breakdown of the process. The item most likely to touch finished cereal would be plastic/whatever product that is that makes the bag the cereal is in. Is that something that the recipes might be changing on?

      taurus the judge in reply to kyrrat. | April 21, 2022 at 12:03 pm

      That’s possible but if that’s the case then most likely the culprit would be a packaging company switched to a bag or material not specifically food rated ( cheaper).

      There are several ways this process is done so it could break down to the individual facility or independent packager which a lot of food manufacturers contract the filling out.

      Some buy the bags premade made and load them directly from the hopper then send the bags to the sealer then the box- others use film and run it through a type of fin sealer then box it.

      More importantly, it must be stated that there is not a shred of hard verified evidence ( such as a chemical analysis of stomach contents, medical diagnosis or product analysis) available at this time that even shows circumstantially that there is in fact a legitimate issue or defect in any GM product.

      In my career I have been a part of a few of these investigations so know the process very well.

      Assuming the reports proper are not outright lies- they are at best “personal perceptions” ( which is a good reason they all sound alike) and anecdotal.

      The person may “sincerely believe” that Lucky Charms ( insert product of choice here because it doesn’t change the answer) is the culprit but it could have been an allergy, shelf mold from open boxes ( not a problem with the product), the milk, the utensils or contamination at the scene and a whole lot more. It could have been something else they ate at a different time and it just showed up close to when they ate the LC so it was guilt by association.

      One of the first tools we use in investigating is batch tracing- here’s a short overview.

      Most of these cereals wind up being semi cooked in an extruder ( steam jacketed for cooking) with a die and head that makes all the flakes, stars, little fishies or whatever ( like the old tootsie roll toy pressing through a die).

      That kills most stuff right there and they are usually broken down and sterilized between batches.

      From there the stuff goes to a retort/dryer or oven for the final cooking/drying/coating/glazing.

      That’s important because the “batch” size is usually tied to the volume of whatever tanks/vats of recipe to be cook which equals “X” amount of packages per run which is “Y” amount of an order and so on.

      That batch is usually palletized and tracked so the location of an outbreak and density helps trace when its a product issue.

      That’s a gross simplification but basically accurate.

Sugar is about the most destructive ingredient in Western diets.

    Just about every child in the US is on some kind of drug cocktail to treat all kinds of issues, some real, some manufactured by the drug companies. How many of the children being prescribed drugs to treat their ADHD start their day eating sugar-coated sugar? Americans have the worst eating habits. But “we’ve got a pill for that!”

      nordic_prince in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 20, 2022 at 11:11 am

      Because most doctors seem to be pill pushers rather than trying to determine the root cause of a patient’s problem.

      Well our physican told us to cut sugar and caffeine of his diet when my son was given his ADD meds. He’s 17, almost 18 now and thankfully seems to be able to control it now (after 5 years of both) with just cutting out the sugar and caffeine.

      Dathurtz in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 20, 2022 at 2:16 pm

      In my 11 years of teaching I have never had an ADHD diagnosed student that didn’t also suck down at least two energy drinks a day.

        henrybowman in reply to Dathurtz. | April 20, 2022 at 6:11 pm

        On the other hand strange chemical interdependencies do exist. 25 years ago, juvenile ADHD patients were prescribed Ritalin and Dexedrine, both outright stimulants… but they had the opposite effect on these kids. I’ve had first-hand experience with this. To this day, one of my (now middle-aged) children who was diagnosed with this problem drinks coffee, Dew, or (now) energy drinks when he wants to “wind down.”

The Gentle Grizzly | April 20, 2022 at 7:43 am

I am hardly a fan of General Mills, but, this all seems a bit suspicious. Does have any credibility? Or, it is another communist front or Naderite group of paranoids?

Before we panic, remember MSG. All it took was one crank doctor.

    Gluten too. I’ll bet it’s most vegetarians and vegans who are “allergic” to it.

      LibraryGryffon in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 20, 2022 at 11:35 am

      Gluten intolerance is a real thing, (the Romans knew about it, called it “the wheat disease”) though a lot of people treat it as a fad. It makes those of us who really have it look whiny and unserious. Since wheat, rye, and barley are out for me, I eat a LOT of meat and milk products. I also avoid wheat because in addition to the GI symptoms, it makes me wheeze.

      Years back when we lived in Ireland we knew someone who had celiac. She wasn’t diagnosed until her teens. When I knew her we thought she was in her 60s. She was only in her 40s. Those early undiagnosed years eating a grain-heavy diet had done her severe permanent damage.

        I was always skeptical of the “gluten” fad until my wife convinced me to do a Keto diet a few years ago. As a byproduct of cutting our carb intake WAY down, I stopped eating bread, pasta and most other foods with gluten. My night time acid reflux problem went away and my stomach never feels bloated like it often used to after eating. I think I must have a minor gluten intolerance. I sure do miss sourdough bread though.

        healthguyfsu in reply to LibraryGryffon. | April 20, 2022 at 1:05 pm

        Gluten intolerance is not at all uncommon, some are just asymptomatic.

        You don’t have to have celiac disease to be gluten intolerant or at least get some low grade inflammation from dietary gluten.

Rupert Smedley Hepplewhite | April 20, 2022 at 7:52 am

They’re tragically delicious!

My friends tongue-tied wife loved Chucky Larms as much as Freddy Poobles. Heh.

E Howard Hunt | April 20, 2022 at 9:31 am

This bad juju must be fought with mo powerful magic, brotha. All afflicted with this devil brew must wash out dems mouths with new old stock, P & G, man in moon, devil paste. Only way to save da chillens.

This post assumes the consumer reports are genuine. Maybe they are, and it’s worth looking into, but the simplest explanation would be that they are not genuine. No conspiracy necessary; they may all be coming from the same organized operation.

It’s like the problem with VAERS. It’s junk. Anyone can report anything they like to VAERS at any time, and there is no filter to remove junk reports. So the same person can file 100 or 1000 false reports and they would all sit there.

It’s worse than Wikipedia, since at least there vandalism introduced by one person is deleted by another. Here the junk just accumulates. And the plural of junk is not data.

    MattMusson in reply to Milhouse. | April 20, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Technically you are correct. Self reporting has no quality control. So, you only use if for Directional Analysis. Sudden dramatic increases in reports tell us that something is up. But, anyone who uses VAERS numbers to say there were 27,000 vaccine deaths as gospel is wrong.

    The CDC is now saying that the number of COVID cases is being massively under-reported because at home tests mean patients must self-report. And, the Harvard Business School believes that the VAERS numbers are massively under-reported. (Some categories by a factor of 10)

    And even if a certain percentage of the reports are valid, you *still* have to consider if the instances exceed random chance. After all, we are going into spring cold and flu season (just had mine) and there’s an urge when you first start coming down with a cold to eat something with a lot of sugar in it to ‘perk you up’ (like I did) since the cold starts to sap your energy before the symptoms come rolling in like a tide.

    Yea for Puffs plus lotion. Keeps my sensitive nose from chafing with all the honking I’ve been doing this week. Sigh.

Last month, the wife bought a pack for our kid to make rice crispy treats (using lucky charms instead). First time in a decade… and they’re potentially poisoned.

Good grief.

How about shoving a bushel of this crap down that rat McConnell’s throat:

Mitch McConnell announces $7 million for Lisa Murkowski:

Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney on Monday brought to three the number of Republican senators to say they would vote in favor of supporting Ketanji Brown Jackson as Joe Biden’s nominee to the US supreme court:

If WE take back the House and the Senate and allow McConnell and McCarthy to head those bodies, we deserve all the misery we’ll get.

Note the rainbow packaging. It’s probably an LGBTQLMNOP+ hate crime, that will prove to be a hoax.

I’ll stick with Cap’n Crunch, TYVM.

This could be nothing more than an orchestrated industrial sabotage campaign…