Regardless of the package size or date codes, consumers should not eat any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks according to public health officials who say more than 70 people have Salmonella infections associated with the cereal.
Friday night both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded their public warnings about the cereal. A day earlier Kellogg Co. initiated a recall of certain sized boxes of Honey Smacks with certain date codes.
“Do not eat Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal in any size package. Check your home for it and throw it away, or return it to the place of purchase for a refund,” the CDC urged in the outbreak update. “Retailers should not sell or serve recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.”
The FDA’s outbreak update explained that the Kellogg recall did not cover all of the potentially contaminated cereal. The recall notice accounts for all of the product that is on the market within the cereal’s estimated one year shelf life.
“However, Honey Smacks products with earlier dates could also potentially be contaminated,” the FDA warned.
Also on Friday, the FDA posted a more detailed list of foreign countries where Kellogg distributed the recalled Honey Smacks cereal. The list of the foreign countries is: Aruba/Curaçao/Saint Maarten (Netherlands Antilles), the Bahamas, Barbados, Tortola (British Virgin Islands), Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, and Tahiti (French Polynesia).
The CDC reported Thursday that illness onset dates for the outbreak victims range from March 3 through May 28. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year old to 87. Out of 55 people with information available, 24 have been hospitalized. A 44 percent hospitalization rate is unusually high for Salmonella infection cases. No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses that occurred after May 22 might not yet be reported to the CDC because of the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to four weeks.
As of Thursday, 73 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka had been reported from 31 states.
The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: Alabama (2), Arizona (1), California (5), Connecticut (3), Georgia (2), Illinois (1), Indiana (3), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (2), Massachusetts (5), Maryland (1), Michigan (4), Mississippi (1), Montana (1), North Carolina (3), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (3), New York (7), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (5), Rhode Island (2), Tennessee (1), Texas (2), Utah (1), Virginia (4), Washington (3), Wisconsin (1), and West Virginia (3).
Advice to consumers
Anyone who has recently eaten Honey Smacks cereal and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should see a health care provider and tell them about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop the following signs and symptoms 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and Abdominal cramps. In some people, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.
Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body. In some cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
The illness usually lasts about a week or less in healthy adults, but other groups are at a higher risk of developing serious infections and complications. High-risk people include children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems.
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