100 Now Sickened by Salmonella-Tainted Honey Smacks Cereal
FRIDAY, July 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred people across 33 states have now fallen ill with salmonella after eating Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
For the time being, the "CDC advises consumers and retailers not to eat, serve or sell Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal," the agency said in a statement.
Many of the illnesses linked to the Salmonella Mbandaka strain have been severe -- so far, 30 people have been hospitalized, although no deaths have been reported.
"Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella in unopened and opened boxes of Honey Smacks cereal collected from retail locations and from ill people's homes," the CDC said.
The Illnesses first surfaced in early March and have continued, with the last illnesses reported on July 2. On June 14, Kellogg Co. announced it was recalling certain boxes of Honey Smacks cereal due to the possibility of contamination with salmonella.
In a news release, the company said it "launched an investigation with the third-party manufacturer who produces Honey Smacks immediately after being contacted by the Food & Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control regarding reported illnesses."
The cereal under recall includes Honey Smacks 15.3 oz. size with the UPC code of 3800039103 (on the bottom of the package) and a Best if Used By Date of JUN 14, 2018, through JUN 14, 2019 (at the top of the package).
Also included are Honey Smacks in the 23 oz. size with the same "Best Before" date and the UPC code of 3800014810.
No other Kellogg products are affected by the recall, and people who find they have purchased one of the recalled products should "discard it and contact the company for a full refund," the company said. The cereal has a shelf life of about a year if left unopened, the FDA noted.
More details can be found at Kellogg's website. People can also reach out to the CDC at (404) 639-3296, or their state's health department.
The FDA issued its own news release in June on the recall, with agency commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb saying that the recalled cereal has been linked to "an outbreak of illnesses across the country."
"The FDA has already initiated an inspection of the facility that we believe is linked to the salmonella contamination," he said. "We'll continue to work with Kellogg to identify not only the source of the contamination, but the actions needed to prevent this kind of outbreak from happening again."
The FDA said it is also requesting that all retailers who sell Honey Smacks to "immediately put up signs that Honey Smacks cereal has been recalled and to remove the potentially contaminated product from shelves."
Salmonella can trigger serious illness, and can even be fatal for children, frail or elderly people and people with weakened immune systems. Illnesses typically last four to seven days, with symptoms including fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Find out more about the Salmonella outbreak at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.