General Mills Recalls 1.8M Boxes Of Cheerios, Because Gluten-Free Cereal Shouldn’t Include Wheat

Just months after General Mills revamped its Cheerios brand, introducing several gluten-free varieties, the company has recalled 1.8 million boxes of supposedly gluten-free Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios because the breakfast food might contain wheat — an ingredient that is decidedly not free of gluten. 

General Mills announced the recall Monday, saying that certain original and Honey Nut Cheerios boxes produced in July at a California plant and deemed gluten-free may contain an “undeclared allergen” – wheat – that could cause adverse health effects for those with gluten allergies.

The company says “an isolated incident resulted in wheat flour being inadvertently introduced into the gluten-free oat flour system” at the facility.

Affected boxes of original Cheerios were produced over a four-day period in July, while the affected Honey Nut Cheerios were produced over a 13-day period.

Jim Murphy, senior vice president of General Mills’ cereal division, tells the Washington Post that the company is “embarrassed and truly sorry” for the issue.

He says the incident that led to wheat being introduced into the gluten-free oat flour at the Lodi, CA, facility was “purely human error.”

“We sincerely apologize to the gluten-free community and to anyone who may have been impacted,” he said.

General Mills says it will remove the affected products from store shelves and warehouses to ensure consumers don’t buy the products.

Boxes of original and Honey Nut Cheerios affected by the recall can be identified by the “BETTER IF USED BY” code dates and the code “LD” indicating it was produced at the Lodi, CA, facility.

Affected boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios can be detected by the above codes.

Affected boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios can be detected by the above codes.

The recall announcement comes just eight months after General Mills said it would begin transitioning five varieties of Cheerios to gluten-free.

The company says that original and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at other facilities are not affected by the recall. Additionally, the Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios and MultiGrain Cheerios varieties are not impacted.