And no ... it's not a comedy sketch.
Jensen Karp, musician-producer-comedian and husband to Danielle Fishel—the actress who played Topanga in Boy Meets World—woke up Monday morning craving some Cinnamon Toast Crunch. However, when he poured his bowl of cereal, he found something ... fishy.
“Something plopped out of the box,” Karp said in an interview. “I picked it up, and I was like, ‘This is clearly a shrimp tail.’” After discovering the tail-end of a shrimp, Karp looked into the bag and discovered a second tail covered in sugar. “I get really grossed out, and I’m medicated for O.C.D., so this is a total nightmare for me,” he said.
Karp posted the picture on Twitter tagging Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The company responded saying, "We’re sorry to see what you found! We would like to report this to our quality team and replace the box. Can you please send us a DM to collect more details? Thanks!"
So, a back and forth battle ensued and Cinnamon Toast Crunch determined through "thorough analysis" that the objects Karp found were not actually shrimp tails. “After further investigation with our team that closely examined the image, it appears to be an accumulation of the cinnamon sugar that sometimes can occur when ingredients aren’t thoroughly blended,” Cinnamon Toast Crunch tweeted. “We assure you that there’s no possibility of cross-contamination with shrimp.”
This angered Karp, who responded with a tweet announcing that his own investigation determined that the unidentified foreign objects were indeed shrimp tails.
Karp's friend called him after seeing his tweet and suggested he check out the rest of the cereal box's contents. “I had never even thought about going back into the bag,” he said. “Never even crossed my mind.”
So, his wife mustered the courage to go through the bag and found some more odd objects. It seemed as though the other bag in the family pack box was actually taped closed as if someone had opened it before. Inside, she found something that looked like dental floss.
The couple also found some black debris baked into the cereal squares, which Karp says may be rat feces or "shrimp-adjacent."
In an attempt to figure out what he found in his cereal, Karp called the California Poison Control, which suggested he take a sample of the foreign objects to a lab. “That’s what I’m trying to get tested right now, because that’s the only thing that really matters to me as far as if I can get sick,” Karp said. I am most likely not sick,” he also said in a text. “But I am not against checking what I ate.”
So, he headed to a couple of testing centers before he found one that would test the "black things" in his cereal. He also tweeted that a research company is paying to DNA test his shrimp tails to determine if they are actually tails.
After identifying some labs that will run tests, Karp was contacted by General Mills via email. In its email, the company told him that if he was not willing to send a sample of the cereal to General Mills, they wanted him to send it to his local law enforcement officials. Karp responded saying that he would not walk into a police station yelling about shrimp tails like "it's a smoking gun from a murder."
The whole shrimp investigation is still ongoing, but meanwhile, in the Twitter world, fans have been coming up with theories on how the shrimp got into the box. Some people suggested that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is simply trying something new to make their cereal a little classier.
Others threw out the idea that the shrimp tails could be evidence of corporate sabotage.
Some tried reaching out to the individual they believed was eating shrimp over the Cinnamon Toast Crunch conveyor belt.
Then, there were the conspiracy theorists who thought there were just way too many coincidences for this to be an accident.
This is not General Mills' first shrimp fiasco. Back in 2011, the company sued a Michigan blueberry packer over a shipment of Adkins blueberries that were contaminated with shrimp. “Upon further inspection of the remaining cases of Lot #210082 Adkin blueberries, GMI discovered one shrimp and a shrimp tail on the outside of the cases,” the lawsuit stated. “The tainted blueberries were unsuitable for use in any GMI product, much less the intended product.”
So, how do you think the shrimp ended up in Karp's cereal box? What do you think the "black things" are? Let us know in the comments.