Peanut Butter Cheerios® have just been made available in Canada, but only for a limited time. General Mills Canada announced on their Facebook page on February 5, 2013 that: “You asked for them, so we’re bringing Peanut Butter Cheerios to Canada! And we’re “laying it on thick” with a coupon for a FREE box with the purchase of another specialty flavour! “Spread” the love by sharing this post because delicious Peanut Butter Cheerios will only be available for a limited time!”
Peanut butter Cheerios were launched in the United States over one year ago, in February of 2012. At that time, I called General Mills’ customer service to inquire about their allergen safety protocols, since I wanted to see if cross-contamination of their non-nut containing products was an issue.
The response I received from customer service was peculiar and insufficient to put an allergy parent’s mind at ease. I was told that “We are confident of our ability to ensure the safety of our products.” What the peanut and nut allergic community were wondering is how General Mills ensures that their peanut or nut containing products do not cross-contaminate their other products and cause them to have traces of peanuts or nuts. The “may contain traces of peanuts/nuts” statement is voluntary, and its absence from a label does not mean that a product is safe to eat. That’s the reason why allergic consumers were writing to and calling General Mills when peanut butter Cheerios were first introduced.
I published an article on the topic titled “New Peanut Butter Cheerios: General Mills’ Allergen Safety Statements Create More Questions Than They Answer”, which you can read by clicking here. For the past year, I have monitored the keyword searches leading people to my blog, to see if they were having allergic reactions to Cheerios.
I went through the 37,463 search results leading people to that article and I found that they were primarily from people trying to find peanut butter Cheerios in Canada (those searches were the top 6 results). The allergy searches regarding Cheerios were extremely minimal:
- 2 people searched “allergy to Cheerios”
- 1 person searched “allergic reaction to multi-grain Cheerios”
- I suppose there was a recall, though I don’t recall it 4 people searched “peanut butter Cheerios recall”
- 1 person searched “allergic to apple cinnamon Cheerios”
- 1 person searched allergic to Cheerios honey nut”
- 1 person searched “allergy honey nut Cheerios almond flavor”
- 1 person searched “allergy to plain Cheerios”
- 1 person searched “apple cinnamon Cheerios hives”
- 1 person searched “can you be allergic to Cheerios”
- 1 person searched “General Mills allergy Cheerios”
- 1 person searched “peanut butter Cheerios side effects”
- 1 person searched “plain Cheerios allergy”
- 1 person searched “plain Cheerios peanut”
Please use the information I provided to decide if Cheerios products fall within your level of acceptable risk.
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