This White Castle Label Had TikTok Arguing

TikTok may be known for viral food trends like ice cream bread and pancake cereal, but it's also where many fast food and retail workers record interesting on-the-job interactions or warnings to share on social media. And sometimes, it can be both, like this recent TikTok video from @prettyoutkhold, a grocery store cashier, which set off a long discussion on the platform on the potential dangers of frozen White Castle sliders.

The video highlights a package of White Castle Original Sliders with an in-video caption, "A customer returned this because she said it causes cancer. She wasn't lying." The video then pans to a warning label on the back of the package that states, "Warning: Consuming this product can expose you to furfuryl alcohol, which is known to California to cause cancer," with a reference to Proposition 65, the California law that requires labels warning consumers about potential exposure to "chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm" (via the Proposition 65 website). The entire video is preceded by a statement from @prettyoutkhold that she "tried their burgers one time and it made me sick, never again." The video, which was posted on November 26, has more than 94,000 likes and 3,200 comments.

TikTok is divided on the dangers of the product

According to the most popular comment to the TikTok video, which has more than 6,500 likes itself, "That label is on everything in CA. It doesn't cause cancer, it does cause diarrhea." Numerous people agreed that California labels an excessive number of items as cancer causing. Since it was established in 1987, Proposition 65 has grown to include a list of more than 900 chemicals, according to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Other commenters were grateful for the warning, and vowed to stay away from the product. Several noted their own bad experiences getting sick from the frozen sliders. Some commenters pointed out that many processed foods cause cancer, while a few pointed specifically to furfuryl alcohol as a culprit. According to the National Institute of Health, furfuryl alcohol occurs naturally in thermally processed foods (or foods that have been heated or roasted), and in aged alcohols, and can be found in "significant amounts" in products such as "coffee, fruit juices, baked goods" and wines, brandies, and whiskies. Many of those items probably also carry warning labels in California, not unlike these White Castle sliders. Consumers should eat at their own risk, based on their own individual level of risk tolerance.