Long-term problem: Honey Maid graham crackers smell bad, consumers say

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Despite more than a year worth of complaints, unpleasant odors persist

Consumers around the country say there's something amiss with their Honey Maid graham crackers -- they don't smell right.

"Nabisco Crackers Box that I opened that are dated with Exp 2/16 smelled horrible," said Pat of Santa Clara, Calif., in a January 15 submission to ConsumerAffairs. "I took one bite and it tasted like some type of chemical. I spit it out and the box reeked of this smell."

Pat's not alone. "Opened a package, and the crackers immediately smelled rancid or like turpentine/oil paint," said Johnny of San Francisco. "The crackers are within the use-by date. I remember these crackers being a favorite when I was growing up, but this is the second time recently I have opened bad Nabisco graham crackers. I did not learn my lesson last time, but will not buy these again."

"These smell disgusting and they would taste even worse," Johnny said.

Several packages

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For many consumers, it's not a one-time problem. "We have opened several new packages of both only to have my grandson spew it out of his mouth and we threw away several packages. The odor and taste were awful!" said Cheryl of Longview, Wash.

What's up with this? No one really seems to know.

The manufacturer, Mondelez International, has admitted that it has had a "quality issue" with its low-fat graham crackers, according to KSAT-TV, San Antonio, and at other times has said that some of the complaining consumers had opened packages that were past their "best-by" date.

That's what happened to Justin of Charlotte, N.C.

"Opened a box of honey grahams and was greeted with an overpowering chemical smell," Justin said. "Turns out they were 8 months past expiration, but they should not have smelled like that."

"A product that's so far past a 'best if used by date' is one which we'd encourage the consumer to discard, as it's significantly beyond when the product should be consumed," Mondelez spokesperson Laurie Guzzinati told KSAT.

But as noted earlier, most of the complaints come from consumers who say the package was not beyond the "use-by" date.

So what exactly is going on? No one seems to know. There have been no reports of illness, but consumers are understandably reluctant to eat something that smells bad.

"Our quality team is engaged and currently investigating this matter," Mondelez' Guzzinati told Today nearly a year ago, causing consumers like Justin to speculate that not much is being done.

"Looks like Nabisco doesn't plan on addressing this, as I see complaints have been going on for the better part of a year," Justin said.

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