They may be “magically delicious.” They’re also the subject of an investigating by the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA is investigating reports that Lucky Charms cereal is causing illness in customers. No recall of the cereal has been issued.
The Livingston County Department of Health has issued an alert advising people that if they or a family member has eaten the cereal recently and then feel ill with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea to make a report to the FDA by visiting the web at https://tinyurl.com/3wrrh86b or by calling 1 (888) SAFEFOOD (1-888-723-3366).
Anyone who is severely ill should contact their health care provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, go to urgent care or the emergency room. Mention that you consumed the cereal, the health department advised.
In a statement to USA Today, the FDA said it “was aware of reports and is looking into the matter.”
“The FDA takes seriously any reports of possible adulteration of a food that may also cause illnesses or injury,” the statement said.
The FDA, as of mid-April, said it’s reporting system, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s CFSAN Adverse Event Reporting System, or CAERS, had registered more than 100 people falling ill in 2022 after eating the sugary delights. The FDA told the Miami Herald that is was “reviewing an investigating these reports.”
A website, iwaspoisoned.com, that tracks foodborne illnesses through crowdsourcing has claimed more than 3,000 people getting sick since late 2021. The reports, which some have attributed to sparking the FDA investigation, have not yet been independently verified.
The founder of the website, Patrick Quade, told Consumer Reports that the number of reports represented an unprecedented level of complaints for a single consumer product. The site has been in existence for more than 10 years.
General Mills, which makes Lucky Charms, said it didn’t change the cereal formula and said that an internal investigation has not found any evidence that the complaints are attributed to is products.
A spokeswoman for General Mills, which makes the cereal, told Consumer Reports that the company takes illness reports very seriously.
“We encourage consumers to please share any concerns directly with General Mills to ensure they can be appropriately addressed.” spokeswoman Andrea Williamson told Consumer Reports.
The General Mills consumer services phone number is (800) 328-1144.
Breakfast cereal rarely results in foodborne illness because the baking process typically kills pathogens. But the products can be contaiminated after baking, such as when glazes are added or during packaging, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The FDA does not discuss details of possible or ongoing investigations. The agency told Consumer Reports that the agency could inspect potentially affected facilities, collect product samples and contact people who have reported illnesses. The agency would not tell Consumer Reports if any of those specific actions had been taken, and would only confirm that the agency was aware of the reports and looking into the matter.
Lucky Charms has been around since 1964. The cereal features oat pieces in the shapes of bells, fish, arrowheads, clovers and Xs, along with marshmallow shapes such as of pink hearts – an original shape – and purple horseshoes, blue moons, green clovers, rainbows and unicorns.