A salmonella outbreak linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal has sickened 73 people in 31 states, according to federal health officials, prompting a recall of some of the product this week. As of Thursday, 24 people had been hospitalized, but no deaths had been reported.
Cereal boxes that have a “best if used by” date of June 14, 2018, through June 14, 2019, on the tops of 15.3-ounce and 23-ounce packages of the cereal should be thrown away, according to a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also advised that any containers used to store the cereal should be washed.
Salmonella can cause illness between 12 to 72 hours after ingesting the germ. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. “Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe,” according to the statement.
The illnesses took place between March 3 and May 28 in people who ranged in age from less than a year to 87 years old.
The Kellogg Company, which produces the cereal, said in a statement Thursday that it would give consumers a refund for affected products, which were distributed across the United States, and in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, the Caribbean, Guam, Tahiti and Saipan. The company and the C.D.C. did not specify which states were involved and which stores had sold boxes associated with the illnesses.
It was the second salmonella outbreak in food in the United States in about a month. In May, 60 people were sickened from the disease; last week the C.D.C. linked their illnesses to pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and mixed fruit in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.
The C.D.C. estimates that salmonella infections cause about 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths every year in the United States.
Earlier this year, more than 200 million eggs were recalled after a salmonella outbreak was traced to a farm in North Carolina. An outbreak traced to chicken salad from a food processing company in Iowa made at least 265 people sick and led to one death.