It has been a little over a year since General Mills launched gluten-free Hamburger Helper and already it has been changed.
Hamburger Helper will no longer be gluten free because it is going to be processed in a different manufacturing facility that cannot be guaranteed to be free from cross contamination. The newly processed Hamburger Helper will not have the ‘gluten free’ label, but will be labeled “may contain wheat”.I never tried any of the varieties of gluten-free Hamburger Helper because the flavor options weren’t all that interesting to me, they were loaded with salt and it is frankly easier to make it from scratch.
If you are a fan of gluten-free Hamburger Helper don’t fret because there are still gluten-free versions on the shelves, so stock up before they are all gone. Both the new and the old version may be on the shelf at the same time, so make sure you pick the gluten-free version and not the ‘may contain wheat’ version.
One has to wonder about General Mills’ commitment to the gluten-free community when they are pulling a gluten-free product from store shelves so quickly. At least they have gone to great lengths to communicate the change to the gluten-free community. Hopefully gluten-free Bisquick is not in danger of the same fate.
Listed below is an email Kim Bouldin received announcing the change.
“I wanted to write and let you know about a change in our gluten-free Hamburger Helper offering. Essentially, our three Helpers items, Hamburger Helper Cheesy Hashbrown, Asian Helper Chicken Fried Rice and Asian Helper Beef Fried Rice will soon no longer be gluten free. This is due to a change in manufacturing facilities, and although gluten will not be used as an ingredient in any of the three products, we will no longer be able to guarantee that they will be free from cross-contamination.
Logistically, at the shelf, we are making efforts to minimize overlap and confusion. You may, however find both gluten-free and gluten containing product on the shelf at the same time while the new product works its way through the distribution system. Our recommendation (which of course you don’t need to be reminded of) is to read the information on the ingredient list. The callout “May Contain Wheat“ will communicate which product has the potential of containing gluten.
While this decision is necessary for the Helpers line of product, it doesn’t change, in any way, General Mills’ overall commitment to the gluten-free community which goes all the way to the top of our organization. We’ll begin communicating this change at CDF conference on Saturday and via our GlutenFreely Facebook page and Twitter stream shortly thereafter. We understand that keeping track of ingredient changes in products is one of the greatest challenges in living gluten freely, and would like to request your help to communicate this change to your readers to maximize awareness and keep the gluten free community informed.”
Author Information: Jennifer D. Harris, Atlanta, GA
Jennifer D. Harris, http://www.jenniferglutenfreeingeorgia.blogspot.com
Gluten-Free Product Specialist, Return to Eden
Program Chair, Atlanta Metro CeliacsTwitter@jenniferGFinGA