Video

Miami Chef Finds Live Insects and Webs Inside Mystery Box of Raisin Bran

Mystery cereal mixture inside sealed Raisin Bran box.
Mystery cereal mixture inside sealed Raisin Bran box. Courtesy of Jamie DeRosa
click to enlarge Mystery cereal mixture inside sealed Raisin Bran box. - COURTESY OF JAMIE DEROSA
Mystery cereal mixture inside sealed Raisin Bran box.
Courtesy of Jamie DeRosa
When Miami chef Jamie DeRosa opened a new, sealed box of Raisin Bran for his daughter Isabela's breakfast, he was surprised by what he saw. Instead of the usual golden flakes and raisins, there was a cornucopia of what looked to be rainbow loops, marshmallows, and corn flakes — everything but Raisin Bran.

Says DeRosa, who currently owns Izzy's Fish and Oyster in Fort Myers, "I'm thinking we scored the golden ticket. I thought of those cereal variety packs you bought as a kid and thought it was some surprise mystery box. Isabela and I thought it was genius."

DeRosa poured a generous helping of the cereal for his daughter when his wife, Amy, came home. "That's when it just went sideways." Amy noticed the cereal smelled stale and took a closer look. That's when DeRosa noticed what appeared to be webs on the side of the bag.
The chef then poured the contents of the box into a larger bowl and noticed movement among the flakes. "I counted at least five of what look to be larvae of some kind."

Amy rushed their daughter, who has multiple food allergies, to the pediatrician while DeRosa called the Department of Health and Department of Food Safety. Although his daughter checked out fine, the chef's concern is that there might be more boxes like this out there.


DeRosa describes the hodgepodge of cereal in the box on his Facebook page as "Fruit Loops, random stale marshmallows, Frosted Corn Flakes, and a web from a Spider." He stresses that both the box and the inside packaging were completely sealed when he purchased it from Publix in Miami Shores. DeRosa speculates that some cross contamination might have happened during the time of packaging. "It literally looks like someone scooped cereal off the floor. That's my impression of what went wrong in the cereal factory."

New Times has calls in to both Kellogg's, the manufacturer of Raisin Bran, and Publix and will update this story with any further information.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss