March 30, 2017: Why is trisodium phosphate in my cereal and is it dangerous to my health?

Recently, the Tennessee Poison Center has received numerous calls from the public about why their popular brand of cereal (e.g. Cinnamon Toast Crunch) contains a poisonous chemical called trisodium phosphate. Callers had read on the internet or heard by word of mouth that trisodium phosphate is a highly toxic industrial strength cleaner, and they were worried about their children eating it.


Food-grade trisodium phosphate is often used as a leavening agent for baked goods, an emulsifier for processed cheese, a flavorant for certain beverages, and to control the pH of processed foods.