Sick after eating gluten-free Cheerios?
Update September 16, 2015
On Monday and Tuesday of this week Gluten Free Watchdog sent a compilation of detailed illness reports related to Cheerios consumption to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in Massachusetts, the Director of Food Labeling and Standards at FDA, and the Deputy Commissioner for Foods at FDA.
FDA is now aware of the situation. If you believe you became ill after eating Cheerios, FDA is asking that you contact FDA’s MEDWATCH, the Adverse Event Reporting System. You can do this online https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm?action=reporting.home or via phone (800) 332-1088. Choose option #4 to speak to a representative.
Of late, there are many reports on social media of people becoming sick after eating gluten-free labeled Cheerios. In fairness, there are reasons why people might be having gastrointestinal symptoms that have nothing to do with gluten contamination. These reasons may include an increase in fiber intake due to overzealous Cheerios consumption or an inability to tolerate oats especially if this is the first time oats have been added to the diet since a diagnosis of celiac disease. Regardless, each and every report of adverse reactions to gluten-free labeled Cheerios should be taken seriously.
Gluten Free Watchdog is compiling reports of illness from consumers who believe they have become sick after eating gluten-free Cheerios. We will be submitting this information to the FDA. While consumers are being encouraged to contact both General Mills and FDA, reporting to the FDA may seem cumbersome to some people. The information submitted to Gluten Free Watchdog will remain private and will be provided only to FDA.
If you believe you or a family member has become sick after eating gluten-free Cheerios, please send Gluten Free Watchdog an email that includes the following information (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Contact information: name and email address
Name of product
Product photos: Gluten-free label declaration, Best By Date, Lot Number, UPC Code
Expiration or Use By Date
Date of purchase
Weight of product
How much product was consumed
Date discontinued use
Who became sick in your family
Did you contact a medical care provider about this issue
Have you been medically diagnosed with celiac disease
Have you been medically diagnosed with gluten sensitivity
Do you usually tolerate gluten-free oats
Is this your first time eating gluten-free oats since being diagnosed with celiac disease/gluten sensitivity