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FDA Alert: Kellogg’s Recalls Mini-Wheats Due to Metal Risk

Kellogg’s issued a voluntary recall Monday of some packages of two of its most popular cereals: Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size Original and Mini-Wheats Unfrosted Bite Size.

According to Kellogg’s, the recall was due to “possible presence of fragments of flexible metal mesh from a faulty manufacturing part.” The affected cereal was distributed nationwide, and up to 2.8 million packages might be affected.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Affected packages will have “Best if Used Before” dates that fall between April 1, 2013 and September 21, 2013.
  • Packages with the letters “KB”, “AP” or “FK” before or after the listed “Best If Used Before” dates are included in the recall.
  • Packages with “KP”, “KPA”, “KPB”, “KPC”, “KN”, “KNA”,"KNB" or “KL”,”KLA”, “KLB” designations are NOT included in the recall.
  • Size doesn’t matter—from single-serve up to 70-ounce boxes, any and all Mini-Wheats packages could be affected.

If you have any Mini-Wheats in your home, check the “Best if Used Before” date, and throw it out if the date matches the criteria above. Don’t dig through the box and look for metal pieces—the pieces may be smaller than the naked eye can see and it is better to be safe than sorry.

Consumers with affected product or who have questions have been advised to contact Kellogg’s using the “Contact Us” feature on Kelloggs.com or by calling 800-962-1413.

The recall was posted on FDA.gov on Wednesday.

Reasons for the Recall

While Kellogg’s has been slightly vague about the source of the problem, the company has volunteered that tiny metal mesh pieces may have gotten into their cereal.

Company spokesperson Kris Charles stated in a press release that Kellogg’s estimates approximately 282,000 cases of the affected product remained at retail in the U.S. as of Monday. Charles called the recall a “precautionary measure,” adding that the presence of metal mesh in the cereal is unlikely.

The company said Wednesday that the U.S. recall could cost them up to $30 million. Kellogg’s voluntary recall in 2010 resulted from odd colors and odors traced to improper packaging.

Company cuts in recent years have been blamed for expenditures in fixing its supply chain. Kellogg’s is spending $100 million this year in the effort.

Expert Take

Food engineering expert Dr. Gonul Kaletunc of Ohio State University, commented on the definition of a “voluntary” recall.

“In theory, all recalls are voluntary by supplier,” Kaletunc said. He added that the 2010 Food Safety and Modernization Act provides FDA with authority to issue a mandatory recall when a company fails to voluntarily recall unsafe food after being asked to by FDA.

As of today, no injuries have been officially reported, although on the company’s official message board, customers are reporting having found metal pieces in their cereal. 

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