Gluten-Free Hamburger Helper No Longer Gluten Free

Asian Helper

This week I received an email from a General Mills employee who I met when I visited their headquarters.

They would like to spread the word that the three versions of Hamburger Helper that were formerly gluten free will not continue to be.  That includes, Hamburger Helper Cheesy Hashbrown, Asian Helper Chicken Fried Rice and Asian Helper Beef Fried Rice.

The reason for this change is not due to a change in the ingredients but rather a change in manufacturing facilities.  Therefore, they can no longer guarantee that the products 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.”

–Dominic Alcocer, General Mills

I appreciate General Mills’ understanding of the importance of avoiding cross contamination and their desire to be completely up front with this information.

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  1. says

    I hope General Mills will reconsider and start making gluten free versions again. I am wondering if maybe the real reason is its not been profitable, not enough people buying it. It was nice to have these gf versions to have something handy and quick for us Celiacs. Please reconsider. Thanks!

  2. Cynthia says

    I tried one of the gluten free hamburger helper i think it was the asian and it was absolutely HORRIBLE!!! Maybe its because of 5 + years of not using processed foods anymore but I didn’t care for it at all.

  3. Melissa says

    That’s too bad because my brother really likes them. He just started eating gluten free and I know the cheesy hash brown one was one he ate before and it just seemed to help his transition to have something easy and familiar. Also, I had a lot of respect and appreciation for Betty Crocker for what appeared to be efforts over the last couple of years to make more gluten free options available. This move seems to show a lack of commitment to the celiac community and negates some of the positive feelings I had towards them.

  4. says

    Linda, do you happen to know (or know how I can find out) whether the ones that were previously available are safe? I was talking with my brother, and he said he had 6 boxes in his pantry. Not sure if this was something that was effective as of a certain date, if there are manufacturer codes or something that can distinguish between the “ok” and the “may contain wheat” versions. Thanks!

    • says

      Alta, if it says “may contain wheat” then it is the newer version that could be cross contaminated. The older ones do not say that.

    • says

      Sorry, just read your question again. The previous ones are still considered gluten-free by General Mills. I believe they test to 20 ppm.

  5. Michelle says

    This has never been gluten free bacause it contains MSG. It is listed right in the ingredients. People with Celiac cannot have MSG.

      • Michelle says

        Research aside, I am speaking from personal experience. I bloated and brokeout with DH after eating the Beef Asian Helper, (original gluten free) and I have experimented with other foods and I ALWAYS have a reaction to MSG and Maltodextrin. I don’t believe the research is thorough enough. Just saying

        • says

          That’s interesting. I think staying away from MSG is a good idea regardless. It’s also possible that there is too much cross contamination in those products. Some people, including my son, react to products tested to 20 ppm and labeled gluten free such as the Betty Crocker gf dessert mixes. They tend to do better with products tested to 10 ppm of gluten.

        • Carolyn says

          Just wanted to say hello Michelle, I too am a DH sufferer. Only been on GF diet for about a year and still finding things that affect my DH. I’ve been told that DH is rarer than CD so it’s always a plus to find others out there that have experience in the GF diet. I’m fortunate that my symptoms are not severe in regard to the rash, but joint pain is my cross to bear when I’m exposed to gluten along with bloating. Thanks for your input on MSG.

  6. Judy F says

    I am glad that I ran across this article. I had seen that Hamburger Helper had gluten free meals and was just browsing to see what they were so I could look f ro them in my grocery store. So sorry so see the go before I had the chance to try them for my family. It would have been nice to have a quick meal option for GF food.

  7. says

    That’s ridiculous! My husband, whose not gluten free, buys the heck out of the Asian Chicken Helper and was so excited to find something simple to cook me (I am gluten free). We would both be extremely disappointed if they stopped making these versions. I know everyone in my gluten free group would be upset ad well.

  8. Denise says

    This is ridiculous. I do not believe for one minute it is due to change in facility. It’s due to people on other sites complaining about the “gluten free” versions being horrible. They didn’t change the recipe!! They just put “gluten free” on the box front so some of us who need it have an easier time finding it. But idiots think that means it’s tastes bad and have it in their head that something is different. I’m disappointed Betty Crocker. You have been doing an awesome job bringing choices to a VERY LARGE and growing population of people with celiac disease who need many more options. Rethink these changes please!!!

  9. Lance says

    I tried the the g free hamburger. I was very sick after eating it. I’m guessing they had cross contamination issues from the start.

  10. Mariah says

    Well for starters the reason you guys could be getting sick from the old boxes of Gluten Freed beef fried rice and Gluten Free hamburger helper is because the GROUND BEEF AND STEAK you are adding to it may contain small traces of wheat. Depending on what brand of meat you buy and where you purchased it, most cattle are fed grains and there for whatever they have consumed before being butchered you will ultimately be consuming.

  11. Melissa Lyon says

    I am having a hard time in finding gluten-free meals for my daughter. Since the GF hamburger helpers are being discontinued, what do you suggest??? I love Betty Crocker products and this is a big disappointment. Please help….

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