Kellogg released an apology after a video recently surfaced online of an employee urinating into the puffed rice used for making Rice Krispies products. The incident occurred in 2014 and Kellogg was not aware of it until the vile video showed up online recently, a video the employee apparently took himself.
The Detroit Free Press reports on March 14 that the Battle Creek-based Kellogg is cooperating with a criminal investigation that has been opened by law enforcement and the Food and Drug Administration. Kellogg reports that the incident took place during “strained labor relations” at their Memphis, Tennessee, plant.
The changes in the Kellogg plant production line made it easy to date the video. This incident happened in 2014, which means that any of the treats tainted with urine have long expired, so there was no need for a recall. Unfortunately this means some of the tainted product may have been purchased and consumed by unsuspecting customers.
According to NBC Local News today, Kellogg reports that it first learned of the video on March 11, which is the day it was posted online. They immediately called the authorities when finding out about the employee urinating on the production line of puffed rice. The video can be seen above with the graphic areas blotted out, but it is still very disturbing.
Kellogg said in their apology:
“Kellogg takes this situation very seriously and we are shocked and disappointed,” company President Paul Norman said in a news release. “While this behavior was disgusting and criminal, this type of situation is a food-quality issue and does not present a food safety risk.” You can read the full apology here on Kellogg’s website.
The video shows a man urinating on a conveyor belt that is moving puffed rice. That puffed rice was used in a variety of products, which included Rice Krispies Treats, Rice Krispies Treats Cereal and other puffed rice products that Kellogg sells.
Jeff Nelken, who is a California-based food safety consultant, said Monday that the video suggests to him that there is a breach in the plant’s security system. He said that along a production line there are typically several people and anyone of them might have seen what was happening. There should be more than one person watching the assembly line.
“If a person is able to do something so strange and no one is watching, it’s pretty scary,” Nelken said.”Nowadays even when dog food is produced, there’s more than one person watching the assembly line.” Kellogg said that it hadn’t received any complaints regarding the urine incident from their consumers.