As I am always gaining new insight and perspective on the gluten-free status of foods, I have grown more leery of just reading ingredient labels and making a decision based on the ingredient knowledge I have and the information I read on a label. I am learning to “ask the next question.” As a celiac myself and the mother of a celiac child, it is my own personal responsibility for assessing the risk of a certain food for me and my son. That being said, I emailed General Mills to inquire why Kix cereal is not labeled gluten-free (like Chex) when there is no apparent gluten-containing ingredient on the label.
This is the response I received:
Dear Ms. Kelly:
Thank you for contacting us about gluten in Kix cereal. General Mills offers several products that are labeled gluten-free. Please check the package label for the gluten-free statement on the front/side/back of the package. Only products that can be verified to be gluten free will be declared as gluten free on the label. It is important to check the product label each time you purchase a product because it has the most accurate information about the product in the package.
Because we constantly strive to improve our products′ quality and nutritional value, the most up-to-date product information is on the package the product is purchased in. For that reason, we do not distribute product information lists as they could quickly become outdated.
For products not labeled gluten free, we will always declare gluten containing ingredients if they are added to the product. If the ingredient declaration lists wheat, oats, barley, rye, or derivatives of these grains, then the product contains gluten. Examples of derivative ingredients include: malt, barley malt, organic malt, semolina, Durham, triticale, and spelt. We include gluten containing ingredients in the ′Natural Flavors′ or ′Spices′ on the product ingredient list. If there are gluten ingredients in our products, those ingredients are always clearly listed.
If there are no gluten- containing ingredients listed in the product ingredient label, but the product does not make a gluten free claim, it is because we cannot fully assure that this product is gluten free. While we have not added gluten-containing ingredients, factors such as sourcing, conditions of manufacture, etc. do not allow us to provide the full level of assurance that a gluten free claim requires.
Additional information regarding gluten may be obtained by contacting your health care professional or:
Celiac Sprue Association/United States of America, Inc.
As with the Chex, check first to make sure the box is of the new ingredient list and not the old formulation. Mike just came from the Super Walmart at Southern and Unser and they still had the old formulation. BUT his trip was not entirely unsuccessful, as he came home with Cinnamon Chex!!!
According to the General Mills website, oats have been removed from General Mills’ original Kix; the cereal now contains gluten-free ingredients.