Soylent Bars recalled after some customers get sick

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The digestive tract of the ‘future of food’ does not always run smooth.

The startup behind drink-your-dinner powder Soylent has issued a product recall. Not for its mainstay meal replacement powder — but rather for a $2 snack bar which you do still have to chew.

The Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup only started shipping the bars in August, touting the 250 calorie snack as “the latest advancement in convenient, complete nutrition”.

Well, turns out it’s an “advancement” too far for some stomachs.

The recall follows reports by customers of the food bars making them “violently ill” — with complaints including nausea and diarrhea.

It’s not clear how many customers felt sick after eating the bar but clearly enough to convince Soylent to act.

In an update on its blog detailing the product recall, the company writes: “It has recently come to our attention that a small number of our customers have experienced gastrointestinal issues after consuming Soylent Bars. As a precautionary measure, we are halting all Soylent Bar purchases and shipments and are advising our customers to discard any remaining bars in their possession.”

The startup, which has raised some $22.3M in funding since being founded in 2013, says it has been investigating the complaints — but has not yet been able to identify a root cause.

“Though our investigation into this matter continues, we have decided to err on the side of caution and take this preventative step,” it says, adding: “We will be reaching out via e-mail to all Bar customers to offer a full refund.”

It also apologizes for “any negative experiences after eating a Soylent Bar”, and suggests customers discard any remaining bars uneaten.

The Soylent Bar’s full ingredients list runs pretty long — perhaps raising the risk of allergies to particular substances. On its website the company does also note the bar is not allergen-free, given it contains soy and gluten.

Among its main listed ingredients are: Soy Protein Isolate, Corn Syrup, Oat Flour, Canola Oil, Glycerine, Whole Algae Floue, Isomaltulose, Isomaltooligosaccharide Fiber and Oatmeal.

We’ve reached out to Soylent with questions about the recall and will update this post with any response.

From high end phones self destructing to futuristic foodstuffs causing stomach complaints, it’s not been a pretty week for product recalls. Nor for troubleshooting finicky problems with multi-component products — with Samsung yet to nail down the reason some of its Galaxy Note 7 handsets have been bursting into flames.