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Jensen Karp is a name few have heard of before, but his story of finding shrimp tails in a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and has now been publicly addressed by General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) CEO Jeff Harmening.
What Happened: General Mills takes food safety "very seriously" and based on all the available information, it is "highly unlikely" that Karp's story is traced back to a General Mills facility, Harmening said Wednesday on CNBC's "Closing Bell." General Mills only uses shrimp ingredients in its cat food business.
"Right now we are in the process of working with that consumer to try and figure out what happened between it left our docks and when he opened it," the CEO said.
Why It's Important: The Shrimpgate story itself is proving to be a valuable lesson in public relations. At first, the Cinnamon Toast Crunch brand insisted what looks like shrimp tails is in fact "accumulation of the cinnamon sugar" that would happen if the ingredients aren't blended. The public relations team further added there is "no possibility" of cross-contamination with shrimp.
Harmening said he is "pretty knowledgeable about the situation" and the company hopes to resolve the situation with Karp.
However, Karp said on Twitter he found a researcher that will identify the shrimp using microscopy and identify the shrimp "down to the species."
What's Next: The conclusion of Shrimpgate will likely play out over the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, the internet is having fun with the story, including "MythicalChef" Josh Scherer who posted a recipe for Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp with a charred pineapple habanero reduction.
(Photo: Jeremy Karp’s photo of unidentified objects in his Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.)
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