Monday, January 24, 2011

I Don't Think So

My guy eats a bowl of cereal every night before he goes to bed, and it's usually Kellogg's Froot Loops. I know, I know, but it's one of those little guilty pleasures I can't deny him. It's got a little fiber in it, what the heck.

About a week ago he was pouring the cereal into his bowl when out tumbled a large, dirt-colored lump, which broke in two:

I had to confiscate this immediately (I swear, men will eat anything) and examine it myself. Since there aren't any gray Foot Loops, I was concerned about the customers who usually eat this product (kids being the target market.) If some kind of dirt that had gotten into this batch, Kelloggs needed to know. So I contacted the company via a product concern form on their web site, gave them the product info from the box and described the lump.

The first time there was no response, but after I filled out the prodoct concern form a second time they replied a few days later. They were very apologetic, and promised to send me coupons for a free box (which I didn't ask for, btw) and gave me an address to send the product to if I still wanted them to see it. Which I do.

It was this paragraph in their e-mail really intrigued me:

The item found in your package is believed to be as caramelized sugar. This accumulation of food and sugar particles may have become overcooked. Although our company takes many precautionary measures in screening the product, the information that you have supplied suggests that this object may have entered the finished food stream. We are sorry that this occurred and have reported the incident.

I bake -- a lot -- so I know that caramelized sugar can be any color from light tan to very dark brown, depending on how long you heat it. Never have I once seen it turn gray. Also, I didn't send them a picture of it, I just described it as I've done here. Dirty. Gray. Lump.

So now I'm going to write them a letter and mail the box with the remaining cereal and the lump off to them. I don't want more free coupons, or another apology, or even damages for our pain and suffering (my guy is fine and eating his way through another box as I write this.) I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass. I just want someone in quality control to see this lump and then tell me it's caramelized sugar.


Charlene Teglia said...

I once had a job filing complaint letters to Ore-Ida. This is one reason I don't buy packaged "food".

nightsmusic said...

Please tell me though that you kept one half of that 'lump' so they can't just brush this away. (and I've never seen gray carmelized sugar either!)

Tom, Emily & Brenna said...

Since I have a guilty love affair with sugary breakfast cereals, I will play devil's advocate and think perhaps it was carmelized sugar PLUS the accumulated crumbs of all fruit loop colors mixed together. That many noxious colors mixed equals gray, right? Right???! The only way to know for sure is to eat it. I nominate a teenage boy. They will try just anout anything for $5. ;-)