Cereal giant Kellogg issued a massive recall of its Honey Smacks cereal Thursday night on salmonella concerns as the FDA and CDC began investigating an outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control says this salmonella outbreak has sickened 73 people in 31 states. Of those 73, 24 are known to be hospitalized. That’s 32.9 percent, a much higher rate than average for salmonella.
“Kellogg’s Honey Smacks sweetened puffed wheat cereal are a likely source of this outbreak,” a Thursday night FDA outbreak investigation update says.
The recall covers 15.3-ounce boxes of Honey Smacks with UPC code 3800039103 and 23-ounce boxes with UPC code 380004810, both with best-by dates between June 14, 2018, and June 14, 2019.
The smaller boxes are sold in the United States, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, the Caribbean, Guam, Tahiti and Saipan. The larger, “Family Size” boxes are sold only in the United States.
Kellogg’s company-written, FDA-posted recall notice said it’s investigating the third party company that actually makes Honey Smacks. The FDA says it’s in that facility also. As this is a third party manufacturer, it might make cereals for other companies or store brands. More recalls in the coming days would not be a surprise.
Salmonella is one of the most common food-borne illnesses, hitting 1.2 million people per year, according to the CDC. About 2 percent of those infected have to be hospitalized. Very rarely is it fatal, but the people most vulnerable to the worst effects are the young and senior citizens.
“Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection,” according to the CDC. “The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.”
Anyone with the recalled Honey Smacks should throw the cereal out and contact Kellogg for a full refund at 800-962-1413, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern time, and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern time.