The company said the chance of serious illness from the smell was low, but the products could cause nausea and diarrhea among sensitive consumers.
Only U.S. products marked with the letters "KN" following the "better if used before" date notice were affected, the company said.
No other products are a part of this recall, Kellogg added.
U.S. regulators are under fire this year following high-profile recalls involving products for children.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) recalled 40 widely used nonprescription products for children and infants, such as Tylenol and Motrin, earlier this year after Food and Drug Administration inspectors found filthy equipment and contaminated ingredients at a Pennsylvania factory.
"When foods that are popular among kids are being recalled in large volumes, it is clear that our food safety system is not working," U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro said in an email.
DeLauro, a Democrat, chairs a House of Representatives subcommittee that funds the FDA and frequently has criticized its response to dangerous food and medicines.
The lawmaker said 28 million boxes of Kellogg cereal were being recalled after about 20 people, including five who reported nausea and vomiting, complained about the "waxy" smell and flavor coming from the box liners.
Kellogg shares fell 0.8 percent to close at $52.42 on the New York Stock Exchange.