Cereal Recall For Salmonella Expands: Here’s What You Need to Know

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration, another 30 people have become sick from Salmonella infections that are linked to the consumption of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Cereal. Both agencies issued a reminder that consumers should not consume and retailers should not sell Honey Smacks due to possible contamination. In a statement, the CDC said, “If you see Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal for sale, do not buy it.” They also pleaded with consumers to either throw remaining cereal away or return it to the store for a full refund.

Following Recalls is Good for Your Health

This is a great example of why it is a great idea to follow a recall and its instructions. The Kellogg Company initiated this recalled Honey Smacks cereal back on June 14 after a wave of 100 Salmonella Mbandaka infections were reported, dating back to March 3 of this year. As of the end of August, this outbreak alone has now sickened 130 people in 36 states so far, including Texas.  Since then, the infections have stricken 30 more people. Although no deaths have been reported in connection with this outbreak so far, 34 victims have become sick enough to be hospitalized.
Despite the warnings issued by multiple agencies and the Kellogg Company on June 14, affecting any Honey Smacks cereal with an expiration date between June 14, 2018 and June 14, 2019, and an expansion of the recall to products with earlier expiration dates, which could also be contaminated, the number of Salmonella cases has continued to trickle into the public health agencies, as well as the FDA and CDC. Those 30 additional cases reported include cases between July 12 and August 4; it’s possible cases occurring since August 4 have not yet been found and reported.

What Does Salmonella Infection Look Like?

People who become infected with the strain Salmonella Mbandaka usually become sick between 12 and 72 hours after consuming the contaminated food. Symptoms of infection include fever, stomach cramps and diarrhea, which can become bloody, and which can lead to severe dehydration. These symptoms can last from four to seven days, and most otherwise healthy people will recover their own without medical treatment. However, the infection can be more severe in some people and spread to the bloodstream and other parts of the body, which can lead to more serious illness, leading to hospitalization.
Those most likely to contract Salmonellosis, which is the name for a Salmonella infection, are, unfortunately in this case, small children, who are more likely to snack on a sweet cereal that’s easy to eat. In fact, the rate of diagnosed infections is much higher in children younger than five than for any other demographic. The symptoms can also be more severe for the elderly, those with weakened or compromised immune systems or pregnant women. According to the CDC, approximately 400 people die from acute salmonellosis every year.

What to Do With Your Cereal

In a statement, the Kellogg Company noted that they ceased production of HoneySmacks cereal back on June 14, when they were first notified of the potential connection to the Salmonella outbreak and they have not shipped any new cereal since. They again pleaded with consumers who may have any Honey Smacks cereal in their cupboard, even if it’s not in the original container, to either discard it, return it to the store for a refund, or contact the company, who will also refund their money in full.

The investigation into the multi-state Salmonella outbreaks continues and is being conducted jointly by the CDC, the FDA and several state and local public health and regulatory agencies. They also addressed those who place their cereal into other containers without the packaging. Even though they may not remember the brand or type of cereal in the container, they are also encouraged to throw the product away. They are further instructed to thoroughly wash the container with warm, soapy water before reusing, to prevent the contamination of other food.

If you have any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, regardless of when you bought it,  or you have a container full of what you think might be Honey Smacks cereal, do yourself a favor and get rid of it, whether you just throw it away or you take it back to the store for a refund. Children love to snack on cereals like this, but this one could make them sick. Heed the warnings and follow this recall precisely. It could protect the health of your family.

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