If you’ve been on the internet at all this week, you may have noticed people making vague jokes about Cinnamon Toast Crunch and shrimp and being utterly confused. Who could blame you? Yes, a man on Twitter went viral this week for allegedly finding objects that looked like shrimp tails in his box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Thankfully, we’re here for you and ready to break down in exhaustive detail everything we know about this wild story that has taken the internet by storm.
Monday, March 22
Our tale (tail?) begins on Monday, when writer and podcast host Jensen Karp (who is also married to actress Danielle Fishel who played Topanga on Boy Meets World) took to Twitter to share a photo of his box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and what he says he found inside: shrimp tails. He asked in the tweet, which he addressed to Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s Twitter account, “why are there shrimp tails in my cereal?” and assured his followers “(This is not a bit).”
Ummmm @CTCSquares – why are there shrimp tails in my cereal? (This is not a bit) pic.twitter.com/tTjiAdrnVp
In a follow-up tweet, he looped in General Mills, saying that he was “genuinely nervous I will never eat (or sleep) again without answers.” Pretty soon after that, celebrities like Seth Rogen and some of Jensen’s other followers were enthralled and replied to the tweet.
From there, Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s Twitter account replied to the tweet, apologizing and asking him to direct message them more details so they could replace the box. He said he wasn’t so sure he wanted one. From there, Cinnamon Toast Crunch replied again, saying “[we] promise you that our team will look into this and get to the bottom of it.”
GUYS – I am not sure I’m ready for another box!!! https://t.co/OxRs5cvZPC
After Jensen joked that he turned into a shrimp after eating a bowl of cereal (yes, he had already eaten a bowl, more on that later), Cinnamon Toast Crunch replied with a statement, saying that “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. We assure you that there’s no possibility of cross contamination with shrimp.” Jensen wasn’t happy with their response and posted another photo of the alleged tails.
Ok, we’ll after further investigation with my eyes, these are cinnamon coated SHRIMP TAILS, you weirdos. I wasn’t all that mad until you now tried to gaslight me? https://t.co/7DmADmoqUt pic.twitter.com/rSLE60pvoy
He also posted a screenshot of some DMs which he says were between himself and the cereal brand and said that Cinnamon Toast Crunch wanted him to send in what he found in the box so they could be tested.
Jensen later told The New York Times, that he was then inspired to go back into the bag to see if there was anything else inside, which he says included bits of string and cereal pieces with black markings on them. He told the outlet that he feared the latter to be rat feces. He also posted photos of the items to Twitter.
I was convinced to go back through the bag, since when I first noticed the shrimp tails, I freaked out and closed the box. Here’s all my findings, which also now includes a weird little string? pic.twitter.com/mRDUhqG3I8
“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,” he told them.
“I am most likely not sick,” he added. “But I am not against checking what I ate.”
Back on Twitter, Jensen noted that his wife, again, who is Danielle Fishel, checked inside the box, which was full of two family-sized bags of the cereal, and said that the other bag appeared to have been taped up and contains what they fear is dental floss.
UPDATE: my wife has a stronger stomach than me and checked the OTHER bag in the family pack. This one seems taped up (?) and also appears to include…(I don’t even want to say it)…dental floss. pic.twitter.com/yKPkpx7PWq
It’s worth noting at this point that General Mills issued the following statement to Delish: “While we are still investigating this matter, we can say with confidence that this did not occur at our facility,” said Mike Siemienas, a spokesperson for General Mills. “We are waiting for the consumer to send us the package to investigate further. Any consumers who notice their cereal box or bag has been tampered with, such as the clear tape that was found in this case, should contact us.”
Tuesday, March 23
After ending his day with some jokes (yep, this is when Twitter started becoming solely jokes about cereal and shrimp!), Jensen began the day by assuring followers he felt fine, and showing that he still had the box, but made sure to label it so that no one else in his family would eat it. He again assured followers who thought something was fishy (sorry!) that he wasn’t faking the incident. He said something similar to The Times in an interview, saying that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is his favorite cereal and he wouldn’t try to malign it with a prank.
“I’m a comedy writer, but like, there’s no joke here. To take down my favorite cereal brand? I don’t even know why that’s a funny joke. I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It’s the only cereal I eat. I own the Kyrie Irving Cinnamon Toast Crunch Nikes,” he told them. (Danielle also confirmed that the family loves Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a post about the coffee creamer flavor based on the cereal).He’s also said that his main goal is to help look into the matter for others, especially those with shellfish allergies, or who keep kosher.
At this point, Cinnamon Toast Crunch also issued another statement on the matter, similar to the one given above, and DMs posted by Jensen appeared to show the company asking him for the pieces so they could test them.
I plan on continuing full transparency for those concerned about their products. This is the first I’ve heard from them since yesterday (when they said they were sending an envelope) and my new response. pic.twitter.com/EYugRvLbtC
From there, Jensen said that the pieces were in fact being tested and that “a research company will be paying to DNA test the shrimp tail. “…a Carcinologist (crustacean researcher) that works at NHMLA is going to morphologically identify the shrimp using microscopy and he will work with a team of researchers to use DNA to try and identify the putative shrimp down to species. THIS IS HAPPENING,” he said.
He also added he would be sending some pieces to General Mills to test but seemed tired of talking about this. Fair!! Honestly, same!
And well, besides a shoutout from a ton of celebs from Chance The Rapper to Bar Rescue‘s Jon Taffer, that is pretty much it for now! 2021, still just as weird as 2020, we can confirm!
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