Another breakfast staple is being blamed for causing upset stomachs — leading to plenty of belly-aching.
Cheerios cereal could be making consumers vomit and giving them diarrhea, according to a growing number of complaints funneling into iwaspoisoned.com, a platform that tracks food-borne illnesses.
The new reports involving Cheerios come on the heels of a massive outbreak involving Lucky Charms, which has allegedly sickened more than 8,000 consumers over the past year, according to the website and sparked an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration.
Both cereals are made by General Mills.
“Food safety is our top priority. We take every consumer concern very seriously and are investigating this matter,” General Mills spokesperson Andrea Williamson told The Post on Thursday. “We encourage consumers to share any concerns directly with General Mills so we can properly and thoroughly investigate.”
The FDA initiated an investigation of Lucky Charms in early April and has since tested samples of the sugary cereal and visited the manufacturing facilities, The Post first reported.
“We do not have an update on the ongoing Lucky Charms investigation,” the agency told The Post on Thursday. “The FDA continues to take seriously any reports of possible adulteration of a food that may also cause illnesses or injury. As we continue reviewing and investigating these reports, we will provide updates as they become available.”
Complaints about Cheerios, of which there are 20 different flavors, cropped up this year from all regions of the country and spiked in April when 100 people reported their bouts of illness — along with their disbelief that a dry cereal that many of them have been eating since it hit the shelves in 1941 could make them sick, according to iwaspoisoned.com.
One consumer from Fort Worth, Tex., reported suffering stomach issues after eating Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast for two weeks in March.
“Every day I ate it, I had stomach problems. When I decided to stop eating the cereal to try to figure out what was causing the problems, the pain stopped immediately. It was a Family size Honey Nut Cheerios purchased in March 2022, I have felt fine since stopping consumption of the cereal,” according to the complaint.
Another consumer from New Mexico complained of “pure pain and agony…holding my sides.” This person said his/her two young children had a similar reaction after eating the cereal.
“About 2 hours after eating Honey Nut Cheerios I began to vomit and have diarrhea,” wrote another consumer from Syracuse, N.Y. “I thought it was a fluke but after getting sick the second time I knew it was [the cereal].”
General Mills has said it has found no evidence to support that its cereals are making people sick, but a number of food safety experts believe the company should recall Lucky Charms until more information is available, as The Post reported.
In March, the company said on an earnings call that one of its biggest challenges is acquiring certain ingredients.
“We’ve adjusted formulations,” said John Nudi, the company’s president of North America retail. “In some of our products, we’ve reformulated over 20 times year to date. Every time you make an ingredient change, you have to change the formulation.”
Some of the consumers who allegedly ate Lucky Charms and got sick afterwards reported having green-colored poop, which could indicate that a new ingredient was introduced to the cereal, experts told The Post.
The potential Cheerios outbreak began this year with 16 people reporting an illness to iwaspoisoned.com in the first quarter compared to just nine complaints about the cereal in all of 2021, the site’s founder, Patrick Quade said.
Tachianna Charpenter of St. Paul, Minn. and her partner were among the first consumers who allegedly got sick from Cheerios in January.
Her partner had tummy trouble first after allegedly having a bowl of cereal with milk, and assumed it was a stomach flu or bad milk, she told The Post. But Charpenter claims she had a bowl of the same box of cereal with oat milk the next day and promptly got sick with diarrhea and vomiting. She stated she was ill for the next five days.
“I was bewildered that we could get food poisoning from a dry food,” she told The Post. “but it happened to both of us right after we both ate the cereal.”