24 hospitalized in Salmonella outbreak linked to Kellogg cereal

Kellogg’s® Honey Smacks® sweetened puffed wheat cereal has been linked to 73 cases of Salmonella Mbandaka illnesses in 31 states across the USA according to a report released yesterday evening (June 14th) by CDC.

Epidemiological evidence, based on interviews of some of the outbreak victims, pointed the finger at the Kellogg’s cereal.

The Kellogg Company announced an entire year’s range of ‘Best if used by’ dates in a recall notice posted shortly before the CDC news release.

The recalled items are:
Kellogg’s® Honey Smacks® cereal (23-oz pkg; UPC 3800014810; Best if used by JUN 14, 2018 through JUN 14, 2019)
Kellogg’s® Honey Smacks® cereal (15.3-oz pkg; UPC 3800039103; Best if used by JUN 14, 2018 through JUN 14, 2019)

Both package sizes were distributed nationwide in the USA. There was also limited distribution of the 15.3-oz package sizes in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, the Caribbean, Guam, Tahiti and Saipan.

According to the recall notice, the Honey Smacks cereal was manufactured for Kellogg by a third party. FDA has launched an inspection of the manufacturing facility.

The outbreak began the first week in March, with the most recent illness onset reported as May 28th. CDC warns that more recent illnesses likely have not yet been reported, and the toll of the outbreak is expected to grow. It usually takes 2-4 weeks between the time a person falls ill with salmonellosis and the time CDC receives a report.

Of the 73 confirmed outbreak victims, roughly two-thirds are female. Ages of the victims range from less than one year to 87 years of age. Twenty-four of the outbreak victims have been hospitalized.

Confirmed cases have been reported from the following states: 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), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (2), Utah (1), Virginia (4), Washington (3), Wisconsin (1), West Virginia (3).

CDC offers the following advice to consumers, restaurants and retailers

  • Do not eat recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Check your home for the recalled cereal and throw it away, or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
    • Even if some of the cereal was eaten and no one got sick, throw the rest of it away or return it for a refund.
    • If you store cereal in another container without the packaging and don’t remember the brand or type, throw it away.
    • Thoroughly wash the container with warm, soapy water before using it again, to remove harmful germs that could contaminate other food.
  • Contact a healthcare provider if you think you got sick from consuming recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal
  • Retailers should not sell or serve recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.

The recalled cereal – especially in the 15.3-oz size – was in wide distribution across the USA. As of June 15, the following retailers have posted their own recall notices and product alerts. Please follow the links to access your retailer’s web site. This is not a comprehensive list, as some retailers are faster to respond than others.

Big Y
Department of Defense Commissary Agency – both 15.3-oz and 23-oz package sizes
Food City
Food Lion
Giant Food
Harris Teeter
Kroger Group – Kroger stores located in Georgia; South Carolina; Auburn, Alabama; Greater Cincinnati (including Northern Kentucky and Dayton, Ohio plus South Eastern Indiana); Central and Northwest Ohio; Northwestern Virginia panhandle; Michigan; Indiana (except SE Indiana, -Evansville-); Illinois; Eastern Missouri;  Hopkinsville and Bowling Green, Kentucky; Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee; Huntsville, Alabama; Greater Memphis area, Tennessee; Arkansas; Mississippi; Western Kentucky; Jay-C, Roundy’s Wisconsin, Dillons, King Soopers, Fry’s, Kwik Stop, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, QFC, Smiths
Price Chopper
Rite Aid
Save Mart
Stop & Shop
Super 1 Foods



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