What We Know About Wilton's Rainbow Sprinkles Recall

Unless you're the proprietor of a bakery, sprinkles probably don't take up prime real estate on your weekly grocery list. Nevertheless, the decorative sugar-glazed confections are always fun to have in your pantry when you're looking to jazz up a batch of cupcakes.

For all their cuteness, however, the once-enigmatic ingredients in commercially produced sprinkles have at times fallen into the same camp as those of the proverbial "mystery meat" that's been rumored to comprise street-cart hot dogs. "Are sprinkles made from bugs?" and "Do sprinkles have pork in them?" are two commonly searched queries that you'll see when you ask Google what sprinkles are made of. Those sprinkle speculations have been dispelled, and we now know that the average sprinkle is made of sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch, shortening, food-safe wax, and artificial food coloring (per Food Republic). 

For Wilton Industries, Inc., however, the discovery of an unlisted ingredient in the baking and cake-decorating supplier's rainbow sprinkles has caused a nationwide recall. Here's what we know.

The sprinkles contained undeclared milk

In a June 6 PSA from the Food and Drug Administration that followed a June 2 announcement from Wilton Industries, the agency confirmed the recall of Wilton's Rainbow Chip Crunch Sprinkles and Rainbow Sprinkles Mix on account of undeclared milk found in both products. The recall echoes an identical incident at Wilton back in March, when it took its Ready to Build Chocolate Cookie Bunny Hutch Kit off the shelves after failing to list milk on the Easter product's ingredients list.  

According to the FDA, all "Contains" statements on food labels must identify all "major food allergens used as ingredients," and it's easy to see why. For people with food allergies — in this case, lactose intolerance — an unlisted ingredient can pose a serious health hazard. Since milk isn't a typical ingredient in sprinkles, its presence in Wilton's rainbow confections could have caused serious damage had it not been found so quickly. "Consumers who have purchased these products should immediately dispose of them or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund, " writes the FDA.

For now, bakers will have to settle for a different brand for their rainbow cake-decorating needs.