Atlanta has been experiencing a vicious salmonella outbreak that has left over a hundred people infected and at least 30 hospitalised with painful cramps, diarrhoea, and cramps. Salmonella causes 23,000 hospitalisations and kills 450 people in the US every year. Usually cases are caused by individual sources, such as poorly cooked chicken or food that’s been left out longer than it should be. But as the disease continues to infect people throughout Atlanta fears have arisen over the origin of the outbreak, with most experts agreeing it has probably been caused by a single infected food item.
Now the CDC has revealed that the food item responsible may be the cereal Kellog’s Honey Smacks. They have now urged anyone with a box of the food to either return it or throw it away, and they advise that under no circumstances should anyone eat the cereal.
Honey Smacks, which have been on a voluntary recall by Kellog’s since mid-June, is a popular breakfast cereal eaten by millions across the US.
The CDC’s warning has come in relatively simple, but profoundly ominous, tweet reading:
“OUTBREAK Update: 100 Salmonella infections in 33 states linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Do not eat this cereal.”
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection also chipped in with a similar message, reading:
“You should not eat any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal in any size package.”
Experts have specified that the blanket rule applies to the cereal regardless of when it was bought, where it’s been stored, or the expiry date on the box. If you’ve stored the cereal in a different container to the box you purchased it in, they suggest you empty the container of the Honey Smacks and then sterilise the container using hot soapy water.
Given what’s at risk, we might go step a further and just throw the container away.
It’s not clear what this is doing to Kellog’s bottom line but we can’t help but imagine that there’s a whole bunch of guys in a boardroom pulling awkwardly at their collars while praying that this whole thing goes away. At the very least they’ve lost 100 customers for life because when a cereal causes you to poop blood and run a fever that could fry eggs, you’re usually put off the food that gave it to you forever.