General Mills is voluntarily recalling several days of production of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios cereal produced at its Lodi, California facility on certain dates in July of this year because of an undeclared allergen – wheat – with potential adverse health effects. Because this recall relates to an undeclared allergen, this is a Class I product recall.
Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced on these dates at the company’s Lodi, California facility are being recalled because an isolated incident resulted in wheat flour being inadvertently introduced into the gluten free oat flour system at its Lodi facility. As a result, the products may contain an undeclared allergen – wheat – in products labeled as gluten-free.
General Mills will recall and retrieve affected cereals produced on those 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.
This voluntary recall includes four days production of original (yellow box) Cheerios, and thirteen days of production of Honey Nut Cheerios at its Lodi, California facility with the following “BETTER IF USED BY” code dates and the plant code LD which indicates the product was produced at Lodi, California:
|Honey Nut Cheerios||Honey Nut Cheerios||Honey Nut Cheerios||Yellow Box Cheerios|
Products containing wheat can cause illness or severe reactions for individuals with wheat allergies or celiac disease. Products containing wheat can also cause illness or discomfort for individuals with gluten intolerance.
General Mills is transitioning five varieties of Cheerios to gluten free. Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios cereals produced at General Mills’ other facilities, or on dates other than those noted at the Lodi, California facility, are not impacted. General Mills’ other gluten-free Cheerios varieties – including Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios and MultiGrain Cheerios – are not impacted and are not being recalled. No other General Mills cereals are affected.
Consumers requesting refunds or calling with further questions should contact General Mills Consumer Services at 1-800-775-8370.
From the President of General Mills Cereal
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.
Jim Murphy, President of General Mills Cereal