Recently I published a post about the new Big G Chex Cereals which are going gluten-free. They include, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Honey Nut, Strawberry and Corn (in addition to the Rice Chex already out there that is gluten-free). But I had one question from a reader about the true “gluten-freeness” of it all. So I went to my contact at General Mills and forwarded on the questions.
The reader, “tskogen” wondered, “How can we be sure that they are completely gluten-free?…I am wondering if you have called them to see if they are taking the steps to make sure that there is NO possible chance of cross contamination.”
While I did get an answer from General Mills, it may not be as detailed as you would like. According to General Mills, “During the manufacturing process, we segregate these products sufficiently such that no cross-contamination will occur. Our label accurately reflects the ingredients listed on the package. We encourage consumers to check the product label each time they purchase.”
They did not elaborate on how they accomplish this. But they are working with the Celiac Sprue Association and the Celiac Disease Foundation who I have to think would help them understand the importance of eliminating the possibility cross-contamination.
Another question that was asked…was about whether General Mills did a parts-per-million test for gluten (European standards say foods with 20 ppm or less of gluten can be declared gluten-free, the US Food and Drug Administration is looking at adopting that standard as well.) “The FDA proposed regulation states that gluten-free products contain less than 20 ppm gluten. General Mills products with a gluten-free claim comply with this proposed regulation.” Do employees test each batch of cereal or routinely to ensure it is meeting the 20 ppm standard? The statement doesn’t answer that.
I will say General Mills appears to be is off to a good start as it explores this new gluten-free world and where the company fits in it. And I think it’s about time big, mainstream food companies got in-the-know about the gluten-free lifestyle and made some changes — like General Mills has.