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Nature's Path recalls kids' cereal due to undeclared gluten

Nature's Path Foods is recalling more than 450,000 boxes of gluten-free cereal for children because the breakfast food could contain wheat and barley, which can cause serious health problems for those sensitive or allergic to gluten. 

Sold nationwide and in Canada, the recall involves a specific production run of the company's EnviroKidz line -- Choco Chimps, Gorilla Munch and Jungle Munch -- that may contain undeclared gluten, according to a news release posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The recall is for 450,648 EnviroKidz cereal boxes, or five percent of the company's EnviroKidz gluten-free cereal sales year-to-date, a Nature's Path spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. The recalled products represent a week's production.

People allergic to wheat, who have celiac disease, or a sensitivity to gluten and wheat are advised not to eat the recalled cereals due to potential adverse health effects. 

As many as one in 100 people have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which ingesting gluten leads to damage in the small intestine, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

In the U.S., recalled products involve 10-ounce boxes with the following labels and "best before" dates: 

EnviroKidz Choco Chimp with the UPC code 0 5844987024 1 and a "best before date" of Aug. 27, 2019.

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Recalled product Nature's Path Foods

EnviroKidz Gorilla Munch with the UPC code 0 58449 86002 0 and a "best before date" of Aug. 24, 2019.

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Recalled product Nature's Path Foods

EnviroKidz Jungle Munch with the UPC code 0 58449 86002 0 and a "best before date" of Sep. 21, 2019.

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Recalled product Nature's Path Foods

Canadians should not consume the following recalled products (all 284 grams): 

  • EnviroKidz Choco Chimp with the UPC code 05844987023 4 with a "best before date" of Aug. 27, 2019
  • EnviroKidz Gorilla Munch with the UPC code 0 58449 86002 0 with a "best before date" of Aug. 24, 2019
  • EnviroKidz Jungle Munch with the UPC code 0 5844987027 2 with a "best before date" of Aug. 1, 2019

The error, which was isolated to one manufacturing facility, was due to air contamination resulting from a production scheduling mixup, according to Nature's Path, a privately held company based in Richmond, British Columbia. The company said that it's removing affected cereals from store shelves and warehouses.

"This failure to meet the gluten-free standard our consumers expect and trust from us is a deep concern," Arjan Stephens, executive VP of sales & marketing said in the recall statement. "We have reviewed and changed our internal practices to ensure our gluten-free cereals are not impacted in the future."

Other gluten-free Nature's Path and EnviroKidz products are not affected and are not being recalled.

Consumers requesting a refund for the affected cereals should return the product to their local retailer or call Nature's Path Consumer Services at (866) 880-7284 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Pacific time) or email at ConsumerServices@naturespath.com.