Plastic in Larabars: If you want this to stop then make some noise

Plastic in Larabars: If you want this to stop then make some noise

In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month 2018,

A series of bites, barks, tail wags, face licks, and pant tugs from Gluten Free Watchdog

May 18, 2018

Gluten Free Watchdog Bark, Post # 18

Plastic in Larabars

The current problem of plastic in Larabars is not a gluten-free issue per se. But these bars are a go to snack food for many in the celiac disease community. These bars were my breakfast each and every day for years. I first came across plastic in my Larabar in 2015. Plastic showed up again in 2016. Needless to say, I stopped eating these bars. I will never eat another one. If General Mills is this sloppy with plastic what else are they sloppy with?

Background

For those not on social media here is the background information on these bars:

Yesterday a consumer reached out to me about pieces of plastic embedded in a Larabar purchased on April 28th. Plastic in Larabars has been an ongoing issue since at least 2012 based on photos on Twitter (https://twitter.com/search?q=plastic%20larabar&src=typd).

As mentioned above, I first found plastic in a Larabar in 2015. A formal complaint was filed with an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator. After finding plastic again in 2016 General Mills assured me that they were working to resolve the issue. Fast forward to May 2018. Plastic in Larabars is still an issue.

Thank you to the consumer who reached out to me. Consumer photo posted with permission.

Statement from General Mills

Yesterday, I reached out to General Mills for comment. Their statement is posted below with permission.

“Thank you for reaching out on this topic.  The pureed dates we use to make Larabars comes to us in a thin blue plastic liner.  On rare occasions, a small piece of this flexible liner may be torn off in the manufacturing process and finds its way into the bar when we mix our ingredients together. This has been a stubborn issue to solve, and we have tried several solutions. Since we last discussed this issue with you, we have changed the liners that our pureed date supplier uses, resulting in a dramatic reduction in this issue. The bar you sent to us used the old liner. We sincerely apologize for this issue and will work with any consumer who contacts us to replace their Larabar.  While FDA regulations do not consider this issue a safety hazard, we take it very seriously and are continuing to monitor the issue closely.”

Note: It is the case that FDA considers HARD plastic a safety hazard. It is unclear how the agency views softer pieces of plastic.

What should consumers do?

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Comments (9)

  • Margs
    Reply

    Geez, I used to get upset when I found a nut shell in my bar, you know, pre GM when the bar was not shrunken down for profit and quality I gradients were used.

    May 19, 2018 at 5:49 am
  • Dee Reply

    One more reason not to eat processed food, you never reeeely never know what is in any of it.

    May 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm
  • Frank Reply

    I just now found a hard sharp piece of white plastic in a cashew cookie larabar.. This is crazy

    September 24, 2018 at 4:29 pm
  • Dave Reply

    Sounds to me like they take it seriously and are genuinely trying to address the issue instead of just sending a boilerplate response. I definitely get the initial outrage though.

    September 26, 2018 at 4:07 pm
  • Jamie Reply

    Happen to stumble upon this. Still going on in January 2019! Got some chipped teeth to prove it ✌?

    January 16, 2019 at 12:17 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Hi Jamie, Please contact both General Mills and the FDA. Hard plastic as a foreign object in food, especially plastic that can chip teeth, is a recall situation.

      January 16, 2019 at 5:23 pm
  • Laurie McCowan Reply

    I also contacted Larabars about a fairly large piece of white plastic I found in one of their bars. It was woven like tarp material. Needless to say, I was completely grossed out. I guess I’ll also contact GM. The plastic was about 1/3×1/2 inch, so not just a teeny bit. They may have resolved the blue plastic from the dates issue, but they obviously have other QC issues that need to be addressed. BTW, this happened less than two weeks ago …

    July 25, 2019 at 9:36 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Hi Laurie, Ugh! Did you happen to take a photo? If so send it along (info@glutenfreewatchdog.org) and I’ll reach out to my contact at GM.

      July 30, 2019 at 5:01 pm

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