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CDC: Don’t Eat Honey Smacks Cereal

[CREDIT: CDC] The CDC warns the public not to eat Kellogs Honey Smacks cereal and to throw away any packages of the product, even if some has been eaten without illness. The outbreak has spread to 33 states, including two reports in Rhode Island.
WASHINGTON, DC — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned customers to steer clear of Honey Smacks Cereal entirely, updated a notice to return boxes of the cereal packaged in June, after the number of states reporting salmonella contamination from the breakfast food rose to 33, including two reports of illness in Rhode Island.

“Do not eat any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal, regardless of package size or best-by date. Check your home for it and throw it away, or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.”

Since the last update on June 14, another 27 ill people have been added to the list of people sickened by the outbreak, which the CDC reports is linked to the cereal.

As of July 12, 100 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka have been reported from 33 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the CDC’s Case Count Map page.

The RI Department of Health advises throwing the product away even if you have already consumed some without ill effects. The company advised customers they should make contact for a full refund. The CDC made additional recommendations for anyone who may have the cereal in their home or stor:

  • Retailers should not sell or serve Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.
  • Even if some of the cereal has been eaten and no one got sick, throw the rest of it away or return it for a refund.
  • If you store cereal that looks like Kellogg’s Honey Smacks in a 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.

State and local health officials are interviewing ill people and asking questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Fifty-five (85 percent)  out of 65 people interviewed reported eating cold cereal. In interviews, 43 people specifically reported eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Ill people in this outbreak reported this cereal more often than any other cereals or food items.

Health officials in several states collected Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal from retail locations and ill people’s homes for testing. Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka in a sample of unopened Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal collected from a retail location in California. Laboratory testing also identified the outbreak strain in samples of leftover Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal collected from the homes of ill people in Montana, New York, and Utah.

The Kellogg Company has now recalled all Honey Smacks products that were on the market within the cereal’s one-year shelf-life. However, Honey Smacks products with earlier dates could also potentially be contaminated. The CDC instructs the public: Do not eat Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal of any size package or with any “best if used by” date.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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