Cereal giant General Mills announced Monday that it would be recalling approximately two million boxes of gluten-free Honey Nut and regular Cheerios after it learned that wheat may be present in the cereal. Wheat is an allergen for sufferers of celiac disease. The company was highly apologetic about the incident, which is the first time since they first started offering gluten-free products that there has been an issue. The mistake was isolated to their Lodi plant; all other gluten-free cereals produced at other plants are unaffected.
According to their press release, it has been determined through testing that the oat supply was not the source of the contamination. General Mills is now instituting new protocols to ensure that contamination of gluten-free products does not happen again.
The contamination was caused after a brief interruption of service by the Rail service in Lodi. The gluten-free oat flour was instead loaded onto trucks, and at some point during the process, wheat flour was inadvertently introduced into the systems that exclusively process gluten-free cereal. The error was not identified until after the boxes of cereal received the FDA gluten-free standard and were shipped off for sale.
So far, two people have reported illness as a result of eating the contaminated cereal. General Mills is voluntarily recalling all Honey Nut and regular yellow box Cheerios varieties with the following “BETTER IF USED BY” dates:
|Honey Nut Cheerios:|
|Yellow Box Cheerios:|
To learn more about the recall, please click here.