General Mills is recalling 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at a plant in Lodi, Calif., saying the cereal is labeled gluten-free but actually contains wheat. The recall affects Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios that were made in July. The Minneapolis company said Monday that wheat flour was inadvertently used in a gluten-free oat flour system. The use of wheat flour means the cereals are not gluten-free, and people with conditions like wheat allergies or celiac disease who consume them might suffer an allergic reaction or discomfort. The recall comes shortly after General Mills launched gluten-free Cheerios.
Earlier this year the company said it found a way to remove small amounts of wheat, rye, and barley that are unintentionally added to oat supplies when the oats are being grown or transported. It started shipping gluten-free Cheerios in five flavors in July. Analysts say that while the recall only affects 1% of annual Cheerios production, consumers may now have a hard time trusting the cereal is really gluten-free. The cereal boxes have the plant code "LD." The Cheerios have "better if used by" dates from July 14 to July 17, 2016, and the Honey Nut Cheerios have "better if used by" dates of July 12 to 25, 2016. (For those who are OK with gluten, there's now Wheaties beer.)