In a voluntary recall, General Mills is pulling 1.8 million boxes of gluten-free Cheerios off shelves, due to the possibility the cereal may contain wheat.
The Washington Post reports that General Mills senior Vice President Jim Murphy says he is, “embarrassed and truly sorry” about an incident that contaminated the gluten-free oat flower at a California production plant.
The presence of wheat has the potential to cause less-than-favorable health effects to those with conditions such as an allergy to wheat, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, according to a statement from General Mills.
The boxes affected by the recall were produced over the course of four days in July. Honey Nut Cheerios affected were produced over a thirteen day period. The company advises customers to look at the “better if used by date” on the top of the box.
General Mills will be removing the potentially affected boxes from shelves, and encourage customers who purchased the recalled cereal to contact the company for a replacement or refund.
The company explains that the incident was entirely caused by human error, when wheat flour was wrongly included in the oat flour in the Lodi production facility.
General Mills announced back in February that they would be converting its facilities to allow five Cheerio varieties to be gluten free. The company assures that any other products from the Lodi facility manufactured outside of the determined time frames remain gluten-free, and safe for those who avoid gluten to consume.
The company issued a formal apology to the gluten-free community, and anyone affected by the recall.