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Promising – And Delivering – Gluten-Free Cereals Is No Easy Task

October 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills is betting heavily that gluten-free food products – a hot industry trend – will help revive its slumping cereal sales. So it’s no surprise that the company acted quickly when reports started coming in that some Cheerios buyers were experiencing intestinal discomfort, a symptom of celiac disease, an immune response to gluten. Oats, of course, do not contain gluten. But oats mills and cereal manufacturing plants can often be contaminated with wheat, rye or barley flour. General Mills spent tens of millions of dollars to make sure its huge Fridley, Minn., flour mill was itself gluten-free. But the fail-safe systems in place somehow failed. The company last week recalled 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios made at a plant in Lodi, Calif., after discovering the cereal accidentally contained wheat.
Mike Hughlett , "Cheerios gluten-free misstep prompts quick actions by General Mills", Star Tribune (Minn.), October 11, 2015, © StarTribune
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