Family- Child finds mouse in package of Ritz crackers

Saturday, April 27, 2002

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- A St. Joseph girl found a dead mouse inside a package of crackers she brought to school on Thursday, members of her family said.

Rebecca Frazer, a sixth-grader at Hall Elementary School, took the package of Ritz crackers to her teacher after pulling it from her book bag Thursday morning.

The teacher, Terri Deayon, said Rebecca approached with the crackers in her hand and a startled look on her face.

"I thought it was mold until I looked a little closer," Deayon said. "I showed it to a few other teachers and decided to call Rebecca's parents."

Rebecca's father, Ed Williams, said he opened a box of crackers at home Thursday morning, handed a sleeve of them to Rebecca and took one for himself. He said didn't notice the mouse.

"I opened the box this morning, and the box doesn't have any holes in it," Williams said. "He didn't tear through the side and eat the crackers. Somehow he got dropped in that sack."

Williams called the Kraft Foods consumer affairs toll-free number and reported the incident. He said Kraft offered a reimbursement, but they said they were not interested.

"It's not a big financial thing," Williams said. "It's the point that my daughter was in the school when this happened. I think it's more of the humiliation of my daughter."

No similar complaints

Kraft said it would send a messenger to pick up the package for lab tests. But an attorney called by the family advised them to keep the package wrapped and in the freezer rather than turning it over to Kraft.

Without the package, Kraft would not be able to conduct as thorough an investigation as it would like, said spokeswoman Claire Regan.

"We have not had similar complaints with this product," Regan said. "It's an isolated incident."

Regan said Kraft Foods has a strict quality control procedure and that once the product is out of its hands there is little the company can do. The Williams' crackers were in a white box with blue lettering, which differs from the standard red box with a blue circle in the middle that the company uses for its Ritz crackers.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: