General Mills issued a statement Monday that they are recalling 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios that have potentially been contaminated with wheat.
The company said in Monday’s press release that issues at its Lodi, California processing plant have caused the contamination, which affects thirteen days-worth of production.
Company spokesperson Kirstie Foster said that “there have been reports of illness by consumers online,” and that “two complaints of illness have been reported directly to General Mills.”
General Mills only recently began labeling its oat-based cereals gluten-free in an effort to boost sales, which have been steadily dropping since 2008.
On the company blog, Jim Murphy, president of General Mills, said he was “embarrassed and truly sorry” about the recall, attributing it to “purely human error.” General Mills ordered boxes stored in warehouses and on store shelves to be returned and is asking customers with celiac and wheat allergies who have potentially been affected to call 1-800-775-8370.
To determine if your Cheerios are contaminated, check the “better used by” codes located on the top of the cereal box, listed here.
While my box of Cheerios was produced at the Lodi facility, it fortunately wasn’t manufactured on one of the days when contamination was an issue. I dodged a bullet, but am sincerely disappointed in General Mills for this massive error, affecting so many people who were so excited to be able to enjoy Cheerios again.
Let’s all hope this never happens again, and remember to be extra vigilant about gluten and cross contamination. If a product is making you sick, stop eating it and let someone know. It could be contaminated.