General Mills has recalled boxes of original Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios that the company said were incorrectly labeled "gluten free."
"I am embarrassed and truly sorry," wrote Jim Murphy, president of the company's cereal division, in a blog post on Monday following the announcement. "We sincerely apologize to the gluten-free community and to anyone who may have been impacted."
Below are the key facts in the Cheerios recall:
How do I know if I have one of the affected boxes?
General Mills is urging consumers to check the "Better If Used By" date on the top of each Cheerios box. The recalled cereals will be stamped between July 12, 2016 - July 25, 2016, along with the letters "LD." See the image below for further details and click here for a larger version of the image.
Why was the recall issued?
According to General Mills, wheat may be present in boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios that were labeled "gluten free." As wheat is an allergen, its undeclared presence could cause a reaction in some consumers. The company issued the recall voluntarily.
How did this mistake happen?
A batch of wheat flour was accidentally blended into the gluten-free oat flour system at General Mills' production facility in Lodi, California. The mistake happened in July, affecting several batches of cereal produced during that month. According to Murphy, it was "an isolated incident involving purely human error."
Is it safe to eat gluten-free cereals produced at the Lodi facility before and after this incident?
General Mills said they have tested and confirmed the cereals produced before and after the affected dates are FDA compliant and gluten free.
Is it safe to eat Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios that were produced at other General Mills plants during the affected dates?
General Mills said its cereals made at other facilities were unaffected by this incident and have been labeled FDA compliant and gluten free. If the "Better If Used By" stamp on a box doesn't match any pictured in the image above, that box is safe to eat.
For more details on the Cheerios recall, see the video below:
Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.