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One in NH sickened by Honey Smacks cereal

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

June 18. 2018 11:29PM




CONCORD — State health officials say one person in New Hampshire has been infected by salmonella related to an outbreak linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating 73 illnesses across 31 states related to a specific type of salmonella. The illnesses occurred between March 3, 2018, and May 28, 2018.

Just before the agency announced the outbreak, the Kellogg Co. announced a recall of 15.3-ounce and 23-ounce packages of the cereal with a “best if used by” date from June 14, 2018, through June 14, 2019, according to a statement.

However, on Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded that recall. “The FDA is advising consumers to not eat and to discard any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. This is regardless of size or ‘best if used by’ dates. The recall notice accounts for all of the product that is on the market within the cereal’s estimated one year shelf-life. However, Honey Smacks products with earlier dates could also potentially be contaminated,” the agency website said.

Based on interviews of ill people, investigators have determined that the Honey Smacks cereal is the likely source of the outbreak. One case of salmonellosis has been confirmed in New Hampshire as part of this outbreak.

“Cereal has a long shelf life, so we are advising people to check their shelves and pantries to make sure they do not have any boxes of the recalled product,” said Beth Daly, chief of the state’s DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control. “Anyone who has Honey Smacks cereal should either throw it away or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.”

Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps usually 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some cases, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the patient is treated promptly with antibiotics.

To report a suspected illness associated with the outbreak, contact the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 271-4496.


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