Two- and three-year olds have been “furious” about the arrival of spicy snacks at breakfast and lunch at a Sydney park.
The cereal is reportedly filled with “hot pepper paste”, which is a known human carcinogen.
But while parents and guardians have been worried about what to do with the snack, the young child is reportedly “screaming” and “throwing tantrums”.
“They’re saying, ‘You can’t put this on the menu’,” one parent told news.com.au.
“They’ve been so angry that they’ve been throwing things around.”
A mother who was at the park last week and spoke to news.org.au said her young child was “absolutely furious” at the presence of the spicy snack, which she said was “the most disgusting thing she’s ever seen”.
The park was packed with people when the cereal was opened on Tuesday morning.
The mother said her children, aged six and five, were “frightened and frightened” at seeing the snack.
“She said it was the most disgusting food that she’s seen,” she said.
The Australian Council for Responsible Nutrition has condemned the “incredible” outbreak of the hot pepper paste, which is also known as pepper spray.
The council’s executive director, Michelle Tufo, said while parents should be “aware of their children’s sensitivities”, they should also be aware that it was “an entirely legitimate food and food allergies can arise from any food”.
“We understand the fear and panic that parents feel when their children are in public places,” she told newscom.org, “but the truth is that parents are often the ones who have the final say in the food they choose to put in their childrens hands.”
Ms Tufu said she believed the hot peppers were “a natural food and allergy product that has been around for centuries”.
She said parents should “make sure to provide appropriate alternatives” for children, and the council would be “working with parents to ensure that their children receive the best possible options”.
Parents concerned about food safety are urged to talk to their doctor.
A sample of the food has been sent to NSW Health.
Ms Tumfo said the council was “deeply concerned about the impact this outbreak is having on the environment, our children and the wellbeing of our communities”.
The council was working with parents on how to “avoid” the hot, “potentially unsafe” food in future.
“This is an area that we will continue to work on,” she added.