Metal Mesh Mini-Wheats

This past week Kellogg put a recall on Frosted Mini-Wheats because of a contamination of mesh metal pieces mixed in with the cereal.  This quality control mishap could cost the company up towards $30 million for the 2.8 million boxes of frosted and unfrosted bite size original Mini-Wheats  that is being recalled from stores.  The supply-chain glitch was attributed to a “faulty manufacturing part” and will cost the company an additional $100 million for the year to fix and improve on their system. The company claims that the expenses associated with the recall this year is offset by the strong performance of the new addition to the Kellogg family, Pringles, which will be seen when the company reports their earning on November 1st.

 However, this is the Battle Creek, Michigan factory’s second quality control slip in the last two years.  In 2010, Kellogg recalled multiple cereals for an odd smell and color.  The cause of this quality issue was the improper packaging the cereal was in.   After that recall, the company spent a similar amount to fix their supply chain which meant less supervision for the operations and overworked employees in the factories.  In my opinion the less supervision and overworked employees seems it would be more  liability for faulty products.


I was surprised how many ways this article related to the paper puppets activity in class and how the faulty paper made it’s way through the assembly line until the quality control department.  Somehow the cereal with the metal mesh bits, and also odd smells and colors were able to not only make it past all of the workers in the factory but also through the quality control department with approval to be put on the shelves in grocery stores everywhere.   Not only are the costs of these recalls expensive, but eventually if these recalls continue occurring, it will start to effect Kellog’s reputation and the quality of their products.  It is unfortunate that the quality control department did not catch these errors because it makes consumers doubt the department’s ability.  I am not exactly sure what is the right amount of time is between glitches and recalls such as these for manufacturers, ideally an infinite of time with no mistakes, but two years with two recalls and now almost a $200 million investment into their supply chain, hopefully Kellogg will not have these problems again in another two years.  Thoughts also arise if whether the cost cuts related to the first recall, overworking employees and lessening supervision, had an affect on this mistake and if the contamination could have been caught before the boxes were shipped out.  Luckily, no injuries have been reported for ingesting the metal pieces, because not only would that not be fun start for anyone’s morning, metal pieces are definitely not apart of a balanced breakfast.

Do you feel the problems in the supply chain should have been resolved two years ago with the first recall and large investment into their system? After the second fix in the supply chain as a consumer would you feel confident in the products going forward?




4 thoughts on “Metal Mesh Mini-Wheats

  1. I think it is odd that things like this do not happen more often. In a world where essentially everything in manufacturing is automated, people assume that there is no way something can go wrong. These large pieces of machinery need to be maintained and checked frequently. Failure to do so, leads to product recalls and in turn large lawsuits towards the company in question. Manufacturing is an involved process, regardless of the amount of automation used.

    1. I believe that any company in the manufacturing industry has a very high risk in terms of quality control and supply chain management. The incident that occurred with the recalled Kellogg cereal products could be unexplainable because the mishap that caused the odor could not be exactly determined, or it could have been that many factors affected the overall quality of the product. I do believe that this incident should have set off a red flag for the company to take preventative measures to improve their processing and possibly supply chain management. The second incident, which is attributed to either faulty machinery or the lack of maintenance on the machines, should have been an incident that would be avoided since the company would have already taken preventative measures in improving their manufacturing processes. I would personally feel a little discouraged in purchasing their products because the incidents had happened so recently. If the company would continue to have these quality control mishaps then I believe a problem would have arisen in the manufacturing process of the product and that quality control had also been affected since they would not be verifying the quality of the product to the standards that the company would want.

  2. After reading this article, consumer will definitely think twice before buying another Kellogg product. Companies need to be careful with their quality control and ensuring every product is safe for public. This is an ethical issue for Kellogg, despite having initial warnings, the problem still wasn’t fix until lawsuits were brought against them. If companies avoid fixing the problem to save cost, at the end they still end up paying out more. This should be a lesson to others to take quality control seriously to ensure safe products for the public.

  3. The most interesting part of the article to me was the sentence: ” After that recall, the company spent a similar amount to fix their supply chain which meant less supervision for the operations and overworked employees in the factories.” I find it surprising that it is assumed that once a company spends money on supply chain they neglect the idea of supervision and employees. I would think that investing one’s money into supply chain would be the epitome of efficiency-that new strategies and plans are created to fix a problem and prevent future problems.
    As to your questions I believe that the first mistake wasn’t enough to fix their issues because they didn’t know what they were fixing since of course they couldn’t pinpoint the cause of the bad smell and color of the cereal so they didn’t even know what they were trying to fix. In the end they messed up once and it can now go either of two ways: they learned their lesson and will really fix their operations or they repeat the first round of “improvement” and who knows what we will find in our cereal a year from now?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *