Total Illnesses: 135
Hospitalizations: 34
Last illness onset: 8/29/2018
States with Cases: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV

The FDA, CDC, along with state and local officials investigated a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka infections linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks sweetened puffed wheat cereal. The FDA worked with Kellogg’s to voluntarily recall Honey Smacks from the market and conducted an inspection at the manufacturing facility owned by Kerry, Inc., resulting in a warning letter identifying specific problems at the facility.

The FDA inspected the Kerry facility from June 14, the day of the initial recall, through June 29. One of the places the FDA swabbed for a sample was a rollup door between the cereal coating room and the processing room for rice crisps that were going in pet food.

“The failure of your sanitation controls to significantly minimize or prevent the environmental hazard of Salmonella is reflected in three FDA environmental samples that were positive for the same strain of salmonella,” the letter reads. “The failure is further evidenced by your 81 positive salmonella environmental samples and 32 positive salmonella vector samples (samples taken in response to finding a positive on routine testing) between Sept. 29, 2016 and May 16, 2018.”

Among those positive samples were four samples from the cereal coating room and “repeated findings of other salmonella species in some production lines and rooms used for the manufacture of cereal.”

Yet, nothing was done to the Honey Smacks to “significantly minimize the pathogen,” the letter said. Meanwhile, as prevention of salmonella had failed, the FDA said the Kerry facility didn’t take corrective steps once it found the salmonella.

“Your facility completed an “Environmental Investigation Report” for each positive pathogen sample you found,” the letter acknowledges. “However, there is no documentation that you formed a response team to determine the root cause and corrective actions necessary to prevent the routine recurrence of salmonella throughout your facility during the time period of Sept. 29, 2016 to May 16, 2018.”

On May 17, 2018 the FDA learned about a cluster of Salmonella Mbandaka illnesses in multiple states. In the following weeks, the FDA, CDC, and state partners worked together to collect additional information to identify a food item of interest. Interviews with ill people allowed health partners to identify Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal as a possible source of the illnesses.

As a result of discussions with the Kellogg company and the contract manufacturer, Kerry Inc. on June 14, 2018, The Kellogg Company  voluntarily recall Honey Smacks cereal. On June 14, 2018 the FDA began collecting environmental and product samples from the contract manufacturer’s facility.

On June 15, 2018 the FDA updated our web posting to include a list of known countries where the recalled product was distributed and to advise that consumers not eat and discard recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.

Recalled Product:

Honey Smacks (with limited distribution outside the U.S.)
15.3 oz.
JUN 14, 2018 through JUN 14, 2019

Honey Smacks
23 oz.
JUN 14, 2018 through JUN 14, 2019

Salmonella:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.