‘Do NOT eat’: Honey Smacks cereal still unsafe amid salmonella outbreak, FDA says

Posted: 9:46 PM, Sep 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-05 08:42:18-04

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat or buy Kellogg’s Honey Smacks amid renewed concerns over salmonella.

All Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal was voluntarily recalled in June, but the FDA has issued an updated warning after consumers continued to become sick. The first cases of illness in this outbreak began with symptoms on March 3, and the most recent individuals began feeling ill on July 2.

The FDA said in a press release that they are investigating a multi-state salmonella Mbandaka outbreak linked to the sweetened puffed wheat cereal. Officials said 130 people have been sickened and 34 of them have been hospitalized.

The cereal has been linked to illnesses in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

“The recall notice accounts for all Honey Smacks cereal on the market within the cereal’s estimated one-year shelf life,” the FDA said. “However, Honey Smacks products with earlier dates could also potentially be contaminated.”

Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. They typically develop about 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms last about four to seven days, and although most people improve without treatment, some may require hospitalization because of severe diarrhea.

Salmonella bacteria can travel from the intestines to the bloodstream and ultimately the rest of the body. Death is rare but may occur if the person is not treated quickly with antibiotics.

No deaths have been reported in this outbreak.

Federal officials have asked the public to report any sales of the cereal to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their area.

“All Honey Smacks cereal was recalled in June 2018. Retailers cannot legally offer the cereal for sale and consumers should not purchase Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal,” the FDA said in a July statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA are working with state and local health officials across the country to investigate the source of the contamination.

Consumers should check their homes and throw away any Honey Smacks cereal.

CNN contributed to this report.