Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka Infections Linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Cereal

Posted September 4, 2018 4:00 PM ET

What's New?

  • Retailers should not sell any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. It could be contaminated with Salmonella and make people sick.  The Kellogg Company recalled Honey Smacks cereal on June 14, 2018.
  • CDC continues to recommend consumers not eat any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. People who recently became ill report eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal that they had in their homes.
  • If you see Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal for sale, do not buy it.
  • Thirty more ill people from 19 states were added to this outbreak since the last update on July 12, 2018.
  • Three more states reported ill people: Delaware, Minnesota, and Maine.

Highlights

Do not eat or sell any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. It has been linked to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections.

Important advice for consumers and retailers:

  • 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. The Kellogg Company recalled the cereal on June 14, 2018.
  • Retailers should not sell or serve any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.
  • 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.
  • If you store cereal that looks like Kellogg’s Honey Smacks in a container without the packaging and don’t remember the brand or type, throw it away. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks is a sweetened puffed wheat cereal.
    • Thoroughly wash the container with warm, soapy water before using it again, to remove harmful germs that could contaminate other food.

Investigation details:

  • CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka infections.
    • 130 people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from 36 states.
    • 34 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal is the likely source of this multistate outbreak.
  • This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

August 31, 2018

Case Count Update

Since the last update on July 12, 2018, 30 ill people have been added to this investigation.

As of August 30, 2018, 130 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka have been reported from 36 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each state can be found on the Case Count Map page.

Illnesses started on dates from March 3, 2018, to August 7, 2018. Ill people range in age from less than one year to 95, with a median age of 57. Of ill people, 69% are female. Out of 98 people with information available, 34 (35%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after August 4, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when their illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Investigation Update

State and local health officials continue to interview ill people and ask questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. In interviews, 61 (77%) of 79 people specifically reported eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Ill people in this outbreak reported this cereal more often than any other cereals or food items.

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. People who recently became ill report eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal that they had in their homes. Do not eat Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal of any size package or with any “best if used by” date.

If you see Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal available for sale, do not buy it. Retailers should not sell or serve any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.

CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

Previous Outbreak Announcements

July 12, 2018

Case Count Update

Since the last update on June 14, 2018, 27 ill people have been added to this investigation.

As of July 12, 2018, 100 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka have been reported from 33 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Case Count Map page.

Illnesses started on dates from March 3, 2018, to July 2, 2018. Ill people range in age from less than one year to 95, with a median age of 57. Of ill people, 68% are female. Out of 77 people with information available, 30 (39%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after June 19, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when their illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Investigation Update

State and local health officials continue to interview ill people and ask questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Fifty-five (85%) of 65 people interviewed reported eating cold cereal. In interviews, 43 people specifically reported eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Ill people in this outbreak reported this cereal more often than any other cereals or food items.

Health officials in several states collected Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal from retail locations and ill people’s homes for testing. Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka in a sample of unopened Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal collected from a retail location in California. Laboratory testing also identified the outbreak strain in samples of leftover Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal collected from the homes of ill people in Montana, New York, and Utah.

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. Do not eat Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal of any size package or with any “best if used by” date.

CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

Initial Announcement

June 14, 2018

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka infections.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives a more detailed DNA fingerprint than PFGE.

As of June 14, 2018, 73 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka have been reported from 31 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Case Count Map page.

Illnesses started on dates from March 3, 2018, to May 28, 2018. Ill people range in age from less than one year to 87, with a median age of 58. Sixty-five percent are female. Out of 55 people with information available, 24 (44%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after May 22, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Investigation of the Outbreak

Epidemiologic evidence indicates that Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal is a likely source of this multistate outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Thirty (77%) of 39 people interviewed reported eating cold cereal. In interviews, 14 people specifically reported eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Ill people in this outbreak reported this cereal more often than any other cereals or food items.

On June 14, 2018, the Kellogg Company recalled packages of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.

CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

TOP