The voluntary recall by McDonald’s of “Shrek Forever After” movie promotional drinking glasses that are tainted with a carcinogen is taking many local customers by surprise.
The recall announcement was made jointly early Friday by the fast food giant and the Consumer Product Safety Commission after it was discovered that the glasses contained cadmium in the painted designs of the movie’s characters. The glasses, featuring Shrek, Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots and Donkey, were being sold for $2 each.
A manager at the Glenville McDonald’s on Saratoga Road said no customers had returned any of the glasses as of late Friday morning and added that the items had sold out at the restaurant at the beginning of the week.
The lunch hour at the Upper Union Street McDonald’s was typically busy on Friday. Schenectady High School Senior Carissa Cromwell, 18, was among the steady stream of customers buying lunch. Of the recall, she said “Yes, I’m disappointed. I wanted to collect all of them,” though Cromwell said she had not purchased any of the glasses yet.
Jennifer Tellone of Niskayuna said she had collected all of the glasses for her family in a similar McDonald’s promotion for “Shrek the Third” in 2007, a series of glasses not affected by the recall.
“We love those glasses,” Tellone said. “They are high-quality. We still have them all.”
Like Cromwell, Tellone said she had not had the chance to collect any of the glasses from the current promotion.
Amanda Jeffes, 24, of Niskayuna, said she had just purchased a glass on Wednesday and heard about the recall while watching CNN Friday morning.
“I was going to collect them all. I thought they were really cool,” she said.
Jeffes said she found news of the recall “a little scary. You never know what can happen,” while adding: “It sucks that something like this can happen.”
Nick Pardise, 29, of Ballston Spa, said he bought two of the glasses, which his 5-year-old son likes to use.
“I guess I’ll call my wife and tell her to put those cups away,” he said.
The recall even took an employee working the counter by surprise. She had bought the Donkey glass for a Father’s Day gift.
“I guess I should return it,” she said, “but at least I’ve got some time to figure something else out.”
Cadmium is a known carcinogen that research shows can also cause bone softening and severe kidney problems. It can be used to create red and yellow pigments in paint. McDonald’s USA spokesman Bill Whitman said paint on the glasses contained cadmium. The concern is the cadmium could leach from the glass onto a child’s hand and would then enter the body if the unwashed hand comes in contact with the mouth.
The glasses were manufactured by ARC International of Millville, N.J. They went on sale starting May 21. Approximately 7 million glasses have been sold; roughly 5 million are in McDonald’s stores or have not yet been shipped, according to Whitman. A statement on the corporation’s website says: “There have been no confirmed cases of illness or injury” and “it’s important to know that CPSC has said the glassware is not toxic.”
Customers are being advised to visit www.mcdonalds.com beginning Tuesday for instructions on returning the glasses and getting a refund. They can also call 1-800-244-6227 for more information.