Cheerios Recall Follows Complaints

Food manufacturer General Mills announced on Monday that it will recall an estimated 1.8 million boxes of its Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios after finding out that that the gluten-free labeled products contained wheat.1

Jim Murphy, president of General Mill’s Cereal division, released a statement on the General Mills blog post on Monday. He said the company took full responsibility and he was “embarrassed and truly sorry.”

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they have reportedly received at least 125 complaints from people who said they developed gastrointestinal problems in September after eating the cereal.

The recalled products were all made in July at the General Mills plant in Lodi, Calif. The Cheerios recall covers a total of four production days, and the Honey Nut Cheerios recall involves 13 production days.

Murphy continued, “We sincerely apologize to the gluten-free community and to anyone who may have been impacted. We care deeply about making safe, nutritious, gluten free products more widely available, and we’ve worked very hard to ensure our products are gluten free. Today we must acknowledge that we failed to meet that commitment for a time, and we’re recalling all affected products as a result.”2

General Mills also took to social media to express their apologies on both their Facebook and Twitter accounts. They explained to their audience exactly what they are doing, what happened, and how they can check if their box of Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios has been affected.

General Mills has had a relatively spotless reputation throughout its long history. Do you think they handled the crisis in an effective manner and will bounce back quickly?

In what ways do you think they could have improved how the situation was handled?

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5 Responses to Cheerios Recall Follows Complaints

  1. Allyson Gerrard says:

    That’s definitely an awkward situation for General Mills. I feel bad that they had to recall also those boxes. Hopefully they have a situation set up where they won’t have to waste food or packaging material to replace the gluten-free products. I think having the president of the cereal division make a public post of his blog was a good idea. That makes it a bit easier for news organizations to link to the post for the company’s thoughts. Also, I think it was a very good idea to post on social media. For a such a huge company you want to be as transparent as possible and I think it was a good way for them to own up to the issue. In addition, I think General Mills should have found a way to reimburse their customers who had bought the faulty product (if they haven’t done so already).

  2. Jordan Baxter says:

    I think General Mills did the correct play by choosing the strategy of recalling their product for their customers. Apologizing and doing corrective action is the best strategy that will help a company. If General Mills did not take the route of apologizing and correcting their mistake and another outlet found out about this issue the consequences could have been extremely worse.

    General Mills absolutely took the right strategy by recalling their product and explaining their mistake to the public. By doing this it showed their consumers that they have integrity, honesty and they are truly sorry for their mistake and are going about their business to correct those actions.

  3. Teresa Joseph says:

    I think General Mills handled this situation extremely well. I didn’t hear about this at all on the news, which is great for General Mills especially since this could have really impacted their reputation. Although it definitely hurt them financially, I think being transparent and apologizing to those impacted, really helped. I think General Mills should offer something to those impacted besides just returning the item. It’d be awesome if they could send them a free box or something that helps rebuild consumer trust, but I know budget restrictions do make this difficult.

  4. Cassandra Weller says:

    I think because General Mills has a “relatively spotless reputation” the company should bounce back just fine and most likely pretty quickly. The way the company handled the situation was very transparent and honest with its customers. Instead of blaming others the company took full responsibility. I also think it was a brilliant idea to go on social media and address the problem. It seems that the company was trying to reach as many customers as possible.

  5. Kimberly Linn says:

    This was actually my blog topic too about a week ago. In my blog post I outline three major reasons why General Mills should recieve a round of applause for the way they handled this crisis. First, they took complete blame for the contamination. Company’s in the past have resorted to finding an scapegoat. General Mills could have easily gone this route by blaming the production Plant, but they didn’t. Second, they used all forms of communication to get the word out as soon as possible in a clear to understand format. Third, General Mills was totally transparent about how the grains were contaminated. Way to go General Mills!

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