Nature's Path Foods is voluntarily recalling more than 400,000 boxes of its gluten-free EnviroKidz cereal over concerns that they may be contaminated with "undeclared gluten."
According to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration recall notice, the company is recalling certain 10-ounce boxes of EnviroKidz Choco Chimps, Gorilla Munch and Jungle Munch with specific "Best Before" dates.
- EnviroKidz Choco Chimp: UPC(058449870241) Best Before Date (08/27/2019)
- EnviroKidz Gorilla Munch: UPC(058449860020) Best Before Date (08/24/2019)
- EnviroKidz Gorilla Munch: UPC(058449860020) Best Before Date (09/21/2019)
- EnviroKidz Jungle Munch: UPC(058449870289) Best Before Date (08/01/2019)
The FDA said the error occurred at one facility and was due to air contamination as a result of an incorrect production scheduling.
Nature's Path spokeswoman Wendy Kubota noted that while the company is recalling the entire production run, not all of the produced boxes came into contact with the gluten and are being recalled out of abundance of caution.
The company said of the 450,648 cereal boxes recalled, 410,688 were shipped to U.S. retailers nationwide and the rest were sold in Canada.
Other gluten-free Nature’s Path and EnviroKidz products are not impacted and are not part of the voluntary recall.
People who have a wheat allergy, celiac disease or sensitivity to gluten and wheat should not consume the recalled cereals due to potential adverse health effects, the FDA warned.
"Making healthy, nutritious, organic food is our passion," said Arjan Stephens, Executive VP of Sales & Marketing at Nature’s Path, in a statement. "This failure to meet the gluten-free standard our consumers expect and trust from us is a deep concern. We have reviewed and changed our internal practices to ensure our gluten-free cereals are not impacted in the future."
Kubota told NBC in a emailed statement that those changes include
ensuring gluten-free and gluten cereals are never run at the same timeframe or overlapping in their plants, and increasing the testing for gluten while the cereal is in production to every hour versus twice per 12-hour shift.
"With much smaller testing windows, we don’t believe gluten in our cereal will again be an issue," Kubota added.
Customers can return the recalled product to their point of purchase for a refund. For more information about the recall, consumers may also contact Nature’s Path Consumer Services at 1-866-880-7284 between Monday and Friday, 8:00 a.m. PST to 4:30 p.m. PST, or email the company at ConsumerServices@naturespath.com.