Thanks to the efforts of Tricia Thompson of the Gluten Free Watchdog, Jim Murphy, President General Mills announces the recall of 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios,
“As president of General Mills’ cereal business, I am embarrassed and truly sorry to announce today that we are recalling boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced on several dates at our Lodi, California facility. The recalled code dates are detailed in our press release issued minutes ago.
This recall is necessary because an undeclared allergen – wheat – with potential adverse health effects may be present in the cereals we produced on several dates in Lodi, in July.
Our Lodi production facility lost rail service for a time and our gluten-free oat flour was being off-loaded from rail cars to trucks for delivery to our facility on the dates in question. In an isolated incident involving purely human error, wheat flour was inadvertently introduced into our gluten-free oat flour system at Lodi. That error resulted in an undeclared allergen – wheat – being present in products labeled as gluten free at levels above the FDA gluten-free standard.
This mistake occurred at just one plant, in Lodi, and the Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at our other plants were not affected.
We have long said we would address any issue if we ever found we were making cereal that wasn’t meeting the gluten free standard – and today that became necessary.
We sincerely apologize to the gluten-free community and to anyone who may have been impacted. We care deeply about making safe, nutritious, gluten free products more widely available, and we’ve worked very hard to ensure our products are gluten free. Today we must acknowledge that we failed to meet that commitment for a time, and we’re recalling all affected products as a result.
Please know that our oat supply was not the issue. We tested our oat supply on these dates – and the oat supply tested as gluten free. We also tested the specific oat flour being used at Lodi – and our oat flour supply also tested as gluten free on the dates in question.
We are testing all finished products. We’ve also instituted additional flour handling protocols at all facilities to ensure this will not happen again. Please know we’ll be working even harder to earn back your trust.”