The U.S. government has stepped in after one of Kellogg’s most popular cereal brands has sickened over 100 people, and hospitalized dozens, with salmonella poisoning.
The Centers for Disease Control took the rare step of issuing a tweet warning consumers not to eat the cereal, after a recall by Kellogg’s has done little to warn consumers of the dangers or stop the cases of poisoning.
Consumers are warned to check their pantries for the cereal, and either throw it away or contact their local store for return.
Salmonella bacteria has been found in Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, a cereal extremely popular with consumers. The contamination has resulted in the brand being completely pulled from store shelves as a precaution. So far, over 100 people have been sickened, with over 30 being hospitalized. The contamination is widespread, with reports of infection in 33 states.
Here is the tweet from the CDC.
— CDC (@CDCgov) July 12, 2018
Kellogg Co. is recalling more than 11 million boxes of Honey Smacks cereal in what is the eighth multistate outbreak this year of food-borne illnesses caused by the salmonella bacteria.
Food regulators said 73 people in 31 states have been infected by salmonella linked to Honey Smacks since March. Twenty-four of those people were hospitalized.
Officials told Kellogg on Tuesday that the outbreak had been traced to its cereal.
“We immediately reached out to the third-party manufacturer to begin an investigation, and worked with the FDA to address this issue,” a Kellogg spokeswoman said.
Kellogg issued the recall Thursday afternoon, and the Food and Drug Administration informed the public later that evening that Honey Smacks had been connected to a continuing salmonella outbreak.
The company said the recall won’t affect its earnings or broader cereal sales.
The FDA is working to warn the public about food-safety risks more quickly after the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General last year criticized the department’s recall process for being slow.
“Today’s action is part of the commitment we made earlier this year to act quickly in response to identified risks and to notify consumers early in the course of our investigations,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Thursday.
Several hours after the public warning the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an investigation into the outbreak.
That recall did not seem to stop the reports of salmonella poisonings, as people continue to eat the cereal, likely sitting in their pantries from before the recall was issued. The CDC hopes this new round of warnign will alert more people to the danger.
Here is local news coverage of the recall.
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