General Mills in Cheerios cereal recall

Cheerios Image copyright Getty Images

US food giant General Mills has said it is recalling 1.8 million boxes of gluten-free Cheerios that may, in fact, contain traces of gluten.

The company said wheat flour had been "inadvertently introduced" into its gluten-free oat flour used to make original and Honey Nut Cheerios at its factory in Lodi, California.

The affected boxes were produced during two weeks in July.

The company introduced gluten-free Cheerios earlier this year.

"We sincerely apologise to the gluten-free community and to anyone who may have been affected," said Jim Murphy, head of General Mills' cereal business.

The company said it did yet know what the recall would cost.

JP Morgan estimated it affected about 1% of Cheerios' annual production.

"We are not sure how costly the recall will be," the broker said. "Our biggest concern is over reputational risk, because the new gluten-free Cheerios just launched."

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