Meal replacement start-up Soylent stopped all shipments of its nutrition bars and urged customers to throw out any they’ve already purchased, the company announced Wednesday. The self-induced recall came after complaints that the products were making people seriously ill emerged on Reddit.
“Until we are absolutely certain our products are safe, they will not be shipped,” said Soylent.
Technology website Gizmodo was the first to uncover complaints about the bars from a Reddit thread Oct 6. People described extreme vomiting, uncontrollable diarrhea and severe stomach pain after ingesting the bars. One customer told of stomach pain so intense it affected his vision. Others shared stories of their trips to the emergency room.
The company acknowledged the original complaints shortly after the report and released a statement to Gizmodo standing by its products. “After these reports, we have retrieved remaining bars from our customers and have personally consumed many of the remaining bars without adverse effects. We have also sent them for further microbiological testing and all tests have come back negative. Based on this, we remain very confident in the safety of the bars,” the statement read.
But Soylent was singing a different tune by Wednesday, when they announced they’d be temporarily stopping shipment of the bars and told everyone who had some in their pantry to toss them.
“We are deeply sorry if any customer had any negative experiences after eating a Soylent bar,” the Wednesday statement said. The company also announced it would refund all purchases. Soylent hasn’t yet figured out why the bars are wreaking havoc on digestive systems, but said the problem doesn’t seem to have affected other types of products.
Soylent only introduced the meal replacement bars in August, advertising them as “the latest advancement in convenient, complete nutrition.” The bars have 250 calories and contain an eighth of an adults daily dietary needs according to the company.