MINNEAPOLIS — The nationwide launch of gluten-free Cheerios has hit a bump after an undeclared allergen — wheat — inadvertently was introduced into the gluten-free oat flour system at General Mills’ facility in Lodi, Calif. As a result, General Mills said it voluntarily is recalling several days of production of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios at the Lodi plant. The recall affects an estimated 150,000 cases, or 1.8 million boxes, of product.
General Mills has touted the initiative to introduce five varieties of gluten-free Cheerios over the past several months. The five varieties are Original, Honey Nut, Multi-Grain, Apple Cinnamon and Frosted.
The gluten-free Cheerios continue to include oats, which are gluten-free but must be handled properly to avoid mixing in with gluten-containing grains such as wheat. In issuing the recall, General Mills said the presence of wheat could have “potential adverse health effects.”
General Mills said it will recall and retrieve affected cereals produced on certain dates from customer warehouses and store shelves.
“Consumers with wheat allergies, celiac disease or gluten intolerance should not consume products bearing the affected code dates and should contact General Mills for a replacement or full refund,” the company said.
The voluntary recall includes 4 days production of original (yellow box) Cheerios and 13 days of production of Honey Nut Cheerios at the company’s facility in Lodi.The company said Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios cereals produced at its other facilities, or on dates other than those noted at the Lodi facility, are not affected by the recall.