This smacks of Salmonella: Kellogg’s cereal continues to sicken customers

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Delaware, Maine, and Minnesota are now among the states affected by Salmonella-contaminated Honey Smacks cereal. Since June, 130 people have reported feeling ill after eating the cereal Kellogg (NYSE: K) officially recalled on June 14, 2018.

According to a news release from the maker of beloved breakfast cereals, “Kellogg launched an investigation with the third-party manufacturer who produces Honey Smacks immediately after being contacted by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding reported illnesses.”

The CDC noted that “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.”

A recent update on the outbreak from the CDC remarks that, despite the recall of the cereal earlier this summer, “the FDA has become aware that recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal is still being offered for sale.” The CDC warns consumers not to buy or eat the cereal, while retailers are urged to stop selling it.

The first reports of illness began trickling in this March, but a full recall was not put in place until June. Following the voluntary recall, the cereal was pulled from shelves in 30 states. Since then, 130 cases of Salmonella have been linked to Honey Smacks, amounting to over thirty hospitalizations across the country.

According to the FDA, the most recent cases of Salmonella thought to be caused by the cereal began affecting customers in the first week of August. 

In the last week, following the CDC’s discovery that the cereal is still on shelves, the FDA wrote on their website that “all Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal was recalled in June 2018 [but] because the CDC has continued to receive reports of illnesses linked to this cereal, we are reminding consumers not to eat Honey Smacks cereal.”

Kellogg also made headlines in July following an earnings call in which they cited rising transportation costs, the Brazil truck strike, and a decrease in cereal sales and their impact on margins.The company—known for household favorites like Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, and Rice Krispies—has certainly been impacted by the nationwide decline in cereal sales. Rory Masterson, former industry analyst for IBISWorld, noted in an interview with CBS that within the cereal market, “revenue has declined 3.3 percent” between 2012 and 2017. The company’s US morning foods division saw a 3% decrease in sales in the last quarter.

According to a June news release from the company, “Kellogg is asking that people who purchased potentially affected product discard it and contact the company for a full refund.” As stated by the FDA, the administration “is advising consumers to not eat and discard any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. This is regardless of size or “best if used by” dates.”

Consumers can visit for more information.

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Maria Baker, Staff Writer

Maria is a staff writer who has covered everything from the environment to sign-on bonuses and women in the industry. She is a recent graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, where she majored in English literature and minored in environmental studies. Maria loves writing about freight almost as much as she loves Emily Dickinson and the self-imposed challenge of finding the best iced mocha in Chattanooga.