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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 11, 2010

Girl Scouts recall lemon cookies

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Girl Scouts of Hawai'i has issued a "quality withdrawal" notice for one of its popular flavors of cookies after receiving complaints that the filling was discolored.

The Lemon Chalet Creme cookie is one of eight flavors sold by the Girl Scouts during its annual cookie drive. Although the lemon-flavored cookies are safe to eat, anyone who purchased them can have them replaced, said Tammy Yamanoha, Girl Scouts of Hawai'i spokeswoman.

Yamanoha said she did not know how many boxes of the affected cookies were included in the 7,500 that were shipped to Hawai'i, but sales of the Lemon Chalet Cremes were halted as a precaution. The cookies are baked for the Girl Scouts by Little Brownie Bakers of Kentucky.

"We took the cookies and we contacted our baker and we sent them samples of the cookies for testing," Yamanoha said. "In the meantime we don't want to wait around and see what it is before we decide what we're going to do, so we're immediately issuing a quality withdrawal and product replacement."

She said the latest problem with the lemon cookies is unrelated to a product replacement notice made by Little Brown Bakers earlier this month. In that incident, consumers complained that the cookie had an "off taste and smell."

The baker blamed the problem on oils that were breaking down in the cookie, but said the cookie did not pose a health threat. Those cookies were not sold in Hawai'i, Yamanoha said.

What caused the grayish discoloration of the cream filling has yet to be determined, she said.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is a key part of the organization's business and educational programs. Proceeds from the sale stay in Hawai'i and help to fund community service projects and troop activities, Yamanoha said.

"We apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused to our customers," she said. "We appreciate the community's understanding and ask for their continued support of Hawai'i's girls as they work through this valuable lesson in leadership and entrepreneurship," Yamanoha said.

Customers who purchased the affected cookies should contact Little Brownie Baker at www.littlebrowniebakers.com, or 800-962-1718 for reimbursement.

On O'ahu, Lemon Chalet Creme cookie tickets can be redeemed for other flavors. For a list of redemption locations, see www.girlscouts-hawaii.org.