Last Thursday, Chatterbox heard on NPR’s Morning Edition that Oklahoma’s WIC Program has eliminated name-brand cereals such as Cheerios from its list of approved foods. (WIC–Women, Infants, and Children–is a federally funded program that provides supplemental foods for moms and growing kids.) Oklahoma has replaced national brands with cheaper house brands, including Malt-O-Meal Co.’s Toasty O’s and Toasted Oats. The cost-cutting measure, the state says, will allow more families to enroll in WIC.
So Chatterbox was interested to read the next day that Malt-O-Meal was recalling two to three million pounds of Toasty-O’s and Toasted Oats because they carry salmonella. According to UPI, the Malt-O-Meal cereals have sickened 200 people in 11 states during the past two months, causing such symptoms as fever, headaches, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
General Mills spokesman David Dix, commenting on the Oklahoma WIC cutoff, told Morning Edition that studies have shown that when parents buy a generic cereal, children often “will not eat that product.”
Chatterbox says, “Kids, go with your gut feeling.”