You know who you should probably pay more attention to? The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They work tirelessly around the clock to provide the public with the most current, unvarnished information about the latest threats, dangers, and hazards linked to your health – and it turns out that they’re currently spending more time on cereal than you might expect.
As of late, a few contamination issues have abounded in the US; several products manufactured by a variety of companies have been recalled due to fear of possible Salmonella contamination of a whey ingredient they all used. There haven’t been any cases of anyone being made sick by these means just yet, though, so that’s a relief.
On the other hand, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal – which was recalled on June 14 due to possible Salmonella contamination – has made at least 130 people sick across 36 states, 34 of them involving hospitalizations. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC are aware that 30 people from 19 states were made ill since July 12, long after the recall was issued.
This means that the cereal is still being sold in certain places, and is still being eaten by various people. An advisory by the CDC, posted on August 31, hammers their point home.
“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,” it reads. “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.”
They also explain that if you had a container that had Honey Smacks in it, that container should be thoroughly disinfected and washed out. If you have a packet that has no label, but resembles Honey Smacks cereal, you should dispose of it immediately.
You seriously don’t want to get infected by these bacteria. If you’re a perfectly healthy individual, it can trigger profuse vomiting, pooping, and a fever 12 to 72 hours post-infection. If the infection gets into your bloodstream, or if you’re infirmed or afflicted by a condition that weakens your immune system, it can develop into a far more threatening illness.
It’s worth stressing that although it may seem like there’s been an uptick in such incidences, the FDA points out that its ability to detect potential risks has improved, as well as how it communicates the dangers to the general public. It’s a perception thing, so don’t start thinking all your favorite foodstuffs will be laced with poison in the coming months.