Gonzalo Erdozain: Immediate, clear response to food safety incident restores my trust

Two weeks ago I blogged about finding a staple in my pretzel M&M.

I dug some more into the issue after being contacted by Mars representatives and found out Mars has strict safety measures in all their factories. The use of any staple is forbidden at their factories just for this very reason. They also told me they have metal detectors throughout the manufacturing line to pick up any metal items that could have somehow made it into their product.

It was reassuring to hear from Mars time and again they take these matters seriously and that they will investigate the matter. They sent me a letter and 4 coupons for $5 each and things are golden. The take-home message is, when faced with a crisis, don’t run, hide or deny it (like Maple Leaf, Heston Blumenthal and the like), but face it, show consumers you are sorry and you are on top of it. That is the only way to regain their trust. And mine.

Staple found in M&M pretzel

Gonzalo Erdozain, a first-year veterinary student at Kansas State University, writes:

You may be familiar with stories about people – or aliens — wearing meat bikinis, chicken heads in McNuggets, flies in soup and even used tampons in food (which makes me want to barf just writing about it), but I have now joined the ranks of the bizarre when I discovered a staple in my Pretzel M&M.

The fact that it was a pretzel inside an M&M was edgy enough, but to my surprise, this one last M&M came with another treat inside, a staple. After chewing on something that at first felt like a plastic strip, I decided it was time to pull it out of my mouth, and to my amusement, and that of my lab mates, it was a regular, metal staple. I would rather take my chances with Salmonella or E. coli that I know I can cook to death rather than bleeding internally to death.