Packaging material at center of Kellogg recall

by Keith Nunes
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BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — The Kellogg Co. said it has identified a substance in the packaging liners of several cereals that may produce a “waxy-like off taste and smell.” The company did not identify what the substance is, but said a health-risk assessment conducted in conjunction with third parties outside the company show the reaction has to do with the packaging and is not caused by any harmful material in the food.

“The external experts agree that some consumers are particularly sensitive to these uncharacteristic off-tastes and smells which can have temporary effects, including nausea and diarrhea,” the company said. “People who are particularly sensitive to these off-tastes and smells react from 0 - 15 minutes after eating the product.

“The off-tastes and smells are caused by a slightly elevated level of a substance commonly present at very low levels in the waxy resins used to make packaging materials that are approved by the F.D.A. They are also commonly used to coat foods such as cheese, raw fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers. We did not find any substances that are not commonly used in packaging materials.”

On June 25, Kellogg said it was recalling some breakfast cereals due to complaints about an off-flavor and odor in the products. The brands affected by the recall include Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks. The company said only products with the letters KN following the “better if used before date” are included in the recall.
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