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

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 people continued to become ill.

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 say 34 people have been hospitalized and 130 sickened.

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,” according to the news release. “However, Honey Smacks products with earlier dates could also potentially be contaminated.”

Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps and typically present 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria. 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.

Symptoms last about four to seven days, and although most people improve without treatment, some may require hospitalization because of severe diarrhea. Thirty people have been hospitalized in this outbreak.

Salmonella can also 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.

“The FDA has become aware that recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal are still being offered for sale,” the agency said in a July statement. “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.”

In addition, the agency has advised the public to report any sales of the cereal to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their area.

The 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.