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An Outbreak Linked To Honey Smacks Cereal Widens As More People Get Sick From Salmonella

No one has died from the bacteria, but the outbreak is widening. So far, 100 people in 33 states have gotten sick — some seriously so.

Posted on July 13, 2018, at 12:49 p.m. ET

If you have any Kellogg's Honey Smacks breakfast cereal in your home — of any kind, with any date — you should throw it out or return it to the store for a refund.

FDA / Via fda.gov

The Kellogg Company first recalled some types of Honey Smacks cereal in mid-June because of contamination with Salmonella bacteria. At that time, 73 people had gotten sick in cases going back as far as March.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an update for the recall, noting that 100 people have now gotten sick in 33 different states, including 30 people who have been hospitalized. It now says that any and all kinds of the cereal should be avoided and discarded or returned to stores.

Salmonella bacteria infections can be serious. They cause diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, and fever to appear about 12 to 72 hours after exposure from contaminated food or water. Most of the time people recover on their own within a week, but some people can have severe dehydration or more involved infections that require hospitalization. These can even be potentially life-threatening, although no one has died after eating Honey Smacks. People who are at greatest risk for serious infections are young children, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems.

Some strains or serotypes of Salmonella are worse than others. The serotype in the Honey Smacks contamination is called Salmonella Mbandaka.

Most of the reported cases have been in New York state, where 11 people have gotten sick.

CDC / Via cdc.gov

You can find a comprehensive list of the 33 affected states and their number of cases at the CDC's website. Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, and California have had the most cases after New York.

Anyone who loves sugary breakfast cereals probably knows what Honey Smacks look like. But if you are looking at an unlabeled container, as one sometimes does, the cereal "is an oval-shaped, sweetened puffed wheat cereal with a golden brown color," the CDC notes.

CDC / Via cdc.gov

If you still aren't sure if the type of cereal you have stored in a separate container is Honey Smacks or not, throw it out. And wash the container with warm, soapy water to get rid of any germs that could spread to other foods.

"The Kellogg Company 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," according to the CDC. "Do not eat Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal of any size package or with any 'best if used by' date."

The cereal was sold across the US as well as in some parts of Aruba, Curaçao, Saint Maarten, the Bahamas, Barbados, Tortola, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, and Tahiti, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

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