UPDATE: After more than 70 people have contracted salmonella poisoning from the popular breakfast cereal, both the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have asked all households to toss any and all Honey Smacks — regardless of date or package size — into the trash.
“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,” writes the CDC in an update of the official recall notice. “Retailers should not sell or serve recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.”
The FDA explains in its update that the Kellogg company’s voluntary recall didn’t cover all of the potentially contaminated cereal, which initially just covered the product’s initially estimated one year shelf life.
Out of the 70 plus victims of salmonella poisoning, 24 of these individuals have been hospitalized so far—and patients range from just 1 year old to 87 years old. No deaths have been reported, but those cases of salmonella occurring after May 22 could be missing from the official count as it takes two to four weeks for local hospitals to report these illnesses to the federal agencies.
States affected by the outbreak are scattered across the nation, from Alabama up to New Hampshire and as far west as Oregon, with 31 states on the list so far.
The original article, published Friday, June 15, 2018, continues below:
If your child is a fan of sugary breakfast cereals, you’re probably familiar with Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, the honey-laced puffed wheat cereal mix that prominently features a frog caricature on its packaging. It was pulled after the Kellogg Company announced that the cereal has been contaminated with salmonella, having caused more than 60 illnesses across 30 plus states here in the US.
Both the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified Kellogg corporate about the illnesses. While there are no other Kellogg’s cereals currently affected by this recall, Kellogg has reportedly launched an investigation with a third-party manufacturer that produces the cereal to learn more about how the wheat-based product came into contact with the food-borne bacteria.
While Kellogg and the FDA are busy trying to pull all affected cereals from shelves nationwide, there’s a chance that it might already be in your pantry. Affected boxes come in both 15 and 23-ounce boxes, have “best by” dates ranging between June 14, 2018, and June 14, 2019, and have UPC codes (the serial number below the box’s barcode) of 3800039103 and 3800014810.
Customers are urged to throw out any possibly contaminated boxes or return them to the point of purchase for a full refund. For more information from Kellogg’s about the recall, click here.
Salmonella poisoning can lead to severe illness and various symptoms that are commonly mistaken for food poisoning. According to the CDC, salmonella symptoms (including severe diarrhea, high fevers, and painful abdominal cramps) can manifest themselves up to 72 hours after digesting the contaminated food.
This is the second widespread salmonella outbreak in the US just this month, following a massive salmonella-fueled scare over pre-cut fruit in hundreds of grocery stores across eight states. 2018, in particular, has been an alarming year for shoppers and home cooks due to the sheer amount of recalls rocking the nation, including one of the worst E. coli outbreaks that Americans have seen since the turn of the century.