Don't Believe This Toxic Cheez-It Ingredient Myth

Cheez-It is pretty much the perfect snack. Cheesy, crunchy, a hint of salt... what more could you ask for? We all know the struggle of reaching in for just a couple, then looking down into a smattering of orange crumbs. It makes sense that a snack that's been around for 100 years (via Southern Living) is one of the most popular for both kids and adults alike.

But Cheez-It recently came under fire for containing a potentially toxic ingredient that had folks freaking out. The good news? You can toss this myth out the window — it's not as truthful as you might have thought.

The myth in question revolves around an ingredient known as TBHQ — a food preservative. In 2016, a "'food alarmist' known as 'Food Babe' posted an image showing the ingredient list on a box of Cheez-It brand snack crackers, along with the claim that the product contains TBHQ, a 'toxic synthetic preservative created from butane,'" according to Snopes. But here's the thing: While TBHQ is a food preservative, it is FDA approved, nontoxic, and safe to consume "in the small amounts present in foods such as Cheez-It snack crackers."

Cheez-It responds to toxic ingredient allegation

The Cheez-It brand was quick to respond to the allegations about its beloved snack crackers' ingredients. In a tweet just days after the allegations went viral, Cheez-It stressed the importance of the safety of its foods. In addition to protecting their own product and brand, Cheez-It also did a solid for any other food brands with products containing TBHQ, busting the myth and saving some others from having to correct the same misunderstanding.

So, fans of the cheesy snack cracker can breathe a sigh of relief and go back to enjoying Cheez-Its in whatever quantities their hearts desire. And if you didn't already know, Cheez-It actually has a pretty interesting backstory (via Smithsonian). Plus, given that they've been around and popular for a while, at-home chefs and bakers have long been at work testing out their own Cheez-It recipes. So we're saying "bye" to the haters and staying on the Cheez-It train.