June 4, 2010: McDonald's said it would recall about 12 million Shrek Forever After glasses after it was informed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that the product contained cadmium. According to the CPSC, "Long-term exposure to cadmium can cause adverse health effects."
McDonald's said that its voluntary recall would take effect immediately and impact about seven million glasses that were sold at McDonald's locations and another five million that have either not been sold or have not yet shipped. McDonald's said it would post information on its Web site about returning the glasses for refunds.
Shrek Forever After glasses sold for $2 each and were available in four designs: Shrek, Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots and Donkey. The movie from DreamWorks has taken in more than $154.1 million at U.S. box offices alone. McDonald's has been promoting the glasses and a Shrek-themed Happy Meal via a national multi-media marketing effort.
"When the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission approached McDonald's about cadmium in their current movie-themed drinking glasses, the company responded quickly, agreed to cooperate fully and acted on the side of caution," Scott Wolfson, director of the Office of Information and Public Affairs, CPSC, said in a statement. "The glasses have far less cadmium than the children's metal jewelry that CPSC has previously recalled."
In a statement, McDonald's pointed out that its "safety standards are among the highest in the industry and the company has a strong track record." McDonald's said the glassware was evaluated by an independent third-party laboratory "which is accredited by the CPSC, and determined to be in compliance with all applicable federal and state requirements at the time of manufacture and distribution." However, according to McDonald's, "in light of the CPSC's evolving assessment of standards for cadmium in consumer products, McDonald's determined in an abundance of caution that a voluntary recall of the Shrek Forever After glasses is appropriate."
At the time of the promotion's launch in May, Dean Barrett, senior vice president, McDonald’s global marketing, proclaimed in a statement, “Three years ago Shrek helped us launch our biggest worldwide promotion of fruit, vegetables and dairy. Now he’s back, with his famous friends, to help us communicate the great taste and fun of these foods in new and even more impactful ways."
McDonald's said that customers can get instructions to return the glassware and request a refund by visiting www.mcdonalds.com/glasses which will go live beginning June 8. Customers can also call McDonald's toll-free number at 1-800-244-6227.