The Honey Smacks In Your Pantry May Be Contaminated With Salmonella
Salmonella, a bacterial food-borne illness often associated with raw eggs and undercooked chicken, has been linked to a popular children's cereal. According to the BBC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging consumers to avoid Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, citing the brand as the likely cause of the Salmonella outbreak spreading across the U.S.
Since early March, 100 people in 33 states have contracted the virus. News of the cereal's potential contamination first broke in June, when the CDC advised consumers to throw away all boxes of Honey Smacks regardless of size or "best by" date. As of June 14, 73 people in 31 states had already fallen ill with salmonella poisoning.
The CDC writes on its website that "Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal is the likely source of this multistate outbreak." On June 14, the Kellogg Company has recalled its 15.3-ounce and 23-ounce boxes of Honey Smacks printed with any "best if used by" date between June 14, 2018 and June 14, 2019 (recalled boxes are labeled on the bottom with the UPC codes 3800039103 or 3800014810).
But the recall hasn't succeeded in containing the illness: It's infected 27 new people since the last update and spread to two new states, Florida and Colorado. The new developments prompted the CDC to issue a forceful warning on Twitter on July 12: "Do not eat this Cereal."
Symptoms of Salmonella include diarrhea, fever, headache, and abdominal pain, and usually appear 12 hours to three days after the contaminated food is ingested. The infection clears up in most people on its own, but in some cases it can lead to hospitalization or even death. So far, 30 people have been hospitalized with zero deaths reported. Of the 65 patients who were questioned, 55 remembered eating cold cereal, and 43 people specifically cited Honey Smacks.
If you haven't checked your cereal shelf yet, scan it for Honey Smacks the next chance you get. The CDC advises tossing it out even if a member of your household has already eaten from the box without getting sick.