Some people commenting on Tammy Engle’s Facebook video of small black bugs crawling in the pancake mix she had just poured into a measuring cup offer a joke that it is just more protein.
But it’s no joke to the Green’s Harbour woman, or to others who have commented on the post that they experienced similar incidents with other products.
On the video Engle points out that it was an unopened box of Aunt Jemima Complete pancake mix she had taken from the cupboard that was purchased recently. And in the video she shows viewers the expiry date to confirm it is not an outdated product.
“When I was pouring it out I was thinking I can’t remember seeing any (specks) in this before,” Engle said. “And then I said, ‘Oh my God they are moving’!”
Engle said she posted the video on Facebook to make others aware.
“It’s very important to make people aware, that’s why I posted it and made it public (on Facebook),” she said. “I have a lot of nieces and nephews who have small kids, too, and they use that product all the time. I wanted them to be aware to check it before you actually put the water in because you might not notice the bugs are it is mixed with water because they are so tiny.”
Engle contacted the company — PepsiCo of which Quaker is one of its brands — and sent them a copy of the video. She received an apology and coupons valued at $20.
The Telegram also contacted the company and received a statement: “We take this claim very seriously and our standard process with quality concerns is to retrieve and inspect the product and packaging. Unfortunately, the consumer disposed of the product in question and without a visual inspection, it’s difficult to comment on the root cause of this matter. That said, we have robust quality and food safety measures in place in our facilities and we are regularly audited for compliance with (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) protocols. We do monitor our consumer feedback closely to identify opportunities to make adjustments to our products or packaging, however, this claim is not indicative of a gap in our processes. We work hard to maintain our track record of delivering safe, quality products to our consumers.”
Engle said when her husband came home that day and saw the bugs in the pancake mix, he took it and burned it in the outside fire pit.
The couple then went through their cupboard — particularly the one the pancake mix was in — and checking other products such as flour for bugs but found none.
“Someone on Facebook pointed out there was a small bit of damage on one corner of the box and that the bugs may have gotten in that way. But a multitude of bugs so fast? Are you kidding me? There were a lot of bugs and that wasn’t even a cup I had poured out in that measuring cup,” she said. “We went right through the cupboard and we didn’t see anything. And we have flour in the cupboard, as well, and we opened that up and found nothing in it.”
Engle said she has also contacted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency but has not heard back as to whether they are looking into it. She thinks better packaging is the best way to prevent such a thing in the future.
“I had never seen bugs in a box like that before. In sharing the video, other people have said they have seen it,” she noted. “I would like to see it packaged differently. definitely would like to see plastic inside the box, sealed properly.”