HOUSTON - A food-borne illness reporting website says more than 7,000 people have reported getting sick after eating Lucky Charms cereal, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating.
Now the site says hundreds have complained of illness after eating Cheerios, another General Mills cereal.
We wanted to know, what's going on here? But, so far, there aren't many answers.
"Just violently throwing up. She was able to make her way home, and for about 12 hours, violently throwing up," said Angela Banaszek about her 14-year-old daughter.
Banaszek says her daughter became ill hours after eating from a newly-opened box of Lucky Charms cereal, and was seriously sick for five days.
"We ended up taking her to the emergency room because her speaking was just completely incoherent. She wasn’t making sense. She was almost hallucinating a little bit," said Banaszek.
7,300 people have reported complaints of getting sick after eating the General Mills cereal, Lucky Charms, on IwasPoisoned.com since mid-2021.
"Vomiting, diarrhea, nausea," said Patrick Quade, founder of Iwaspoisoned.com. "This is by far and away the most, the largest of anything we have ever seen before."
Quade says he contacted the FDA, which began investigating in April, and has received hundreds of similar complaints.
Now, Quade says IwasPoisoned.com is receiving complaints of illness suspected from Cheerios, also made by General Mills, citing several varieties, including Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Frosted Cheerios.
"It’s a lot smaller, 350 reported sick so far, which is still really significant," said Quade.
The FDA sent us the following statement:
"The FDA cannot confirm or deny if an investigation is planned or in progress, that is not already listed on our Outbreak Investigations table. However, the FDA takes seriously reports of possible adulteration of a food that may also cause illnesses or injury. Depending on the seriousness of the problem, an FDA investigator may visit the person who made the complaint, collect product samples, and initiate inspections. Complaints of a less serious nature or those that appear to be isolated incidents are monitored, and the information may be used during a future inspection of a company to help the FDA identify problem areas in a production plant. The complaints are also discussed with company management during these inspections. It is also important to note that when specific consumer guidance can be developed (such as avoiding a specific contaminated food), the FDA and CDC will publish outbreak advisories communicating that guidance."
The New York Post reports that a General Mills official said on an earnings call that some formulations have been adjusted, due to challenges acquiring ingredients.
General Mills didn't respond to our questions about that, but sent us a statement reading, "Food safety is our top priority. We take every consumer concern very seriously and are investigating this matter. We have not found any evidence of consumer illness tied to our products. We encourage consumers to share any concerns directly with General Mills, so we can properly and thoroughly investigate."
No recalls for Lucky Charms or Cheerios have been issued, but Banaszek says her family isn't taking any chances eating the cereals again.
"We don’t want this to happen again. I've never seen anyone that sick before," she said.