General Mills has announced that the Hamburger Helper products that were labeled gluten free, will “no longer be gluten-free”. Not because of a change in ingredients but a change in the manufacturing facility.
Friday I received an email from General Mills saying they would be announcing the big news today at the Celiac Disease Foundation conference. They wanted the news held until they made their announcement.
The change affects three kinds of Hamburger Helper: Asian Helper Chicken Fried Rice, Hamburger Helper Cheesy Hashbrowns and Asian Helper Beef Fried Rice. From what General Mills said, it is not because they are adding gluten back into the ingredients…instead,
“This is due to a change in manufacturing facilities, and although gluten will not be used as an ingredient in any of the three products, we will no longer be able to guarantee that they will be free from cross-contamination,” said Dominic Alcocer of General Mills.
One concern General Mills has right now is that there could be some confusion on the store shelves. It will be important to read the labels carefully. “The call-out ‘May Contain Wheat’ will communicate which product has the potential of containing gluten,” Alcocer said
General Mills says it is maintaining its commitment to serving the gluten free community, which, in Alcocer’s words “goes all the way to the top of our organization”. General Mills still has hundreds of gluten free options that you can see listed on its GlutenFreely.com site*
Thank you General Mills for being up-front about the change in your product. While some people may not like the news, just getting news on this is a refreshing change for all of us who live gluten free.
*I interviewed Danna Korn who is a gluten-free author and contributor to GlutenFreely.com. We talked about the website and about other things gluten free–including great food on her recent trip to Europe! Watch for that post in the next few days.