General Mills has issued a voluntary recall involving its beloved cereal, Cheerios. It has been reported that as much 1.8 million boxes are affected. This is due to the presence of wheat in the Cheerios labelled “gluten free.” Due to the nature of the issue, the recall has been categorized as a Class I recall. This means that consumption of the recalled Cheerios may lead to serious illness or even worse, death.
General Mills Senior Vice President and President of Cereal Division Jim Murphy has explained that the problem occurred when its production facility in Lodi, California lost rail service while the gluten-free oat flour was off-loaded into trucks for delivery into the said facility. During this time, wheat flour was accidentally introduced into the facility’s gluten-free oat flour system. This resulted in the affected Cheerios having an undeclared wheat allergen that is above the FDA gluten-free standard.
It is important to note that only Cheerios products produced in the Lodi facility are affected by the recent recall. That said, the recall affects only Honey Nut Cheerios and the original Yellow Box Cheerios flavors while the other varieties are not affected. Moreover, the “BETTER IF USED BY” dates range between July 12, 2016 and July 25, 2016. At the same time, the initials “LD” can be seen at the end of the dates to denote that the product came from the Lodi facility. You may view the entire list of recalled Cheerios products here.
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Consumers, especially those allergic to wheat or gluten and those who have been diagnosed with celiac, should stop consuming the affected Cheerios immediately. Moreover, those requesting for refunds may contact the General Mills Consumer Services at 1-800-775-8370.