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Honey Smacks Cereal Unsafe to Eat

Salmonella outbreak expands, CDC warns consumers to avoid the product at all costs

A box of Honey Smacks on a grocery store shelf

Patti McConville/Alamy Stock Photo

Stay away from Honey Smacks cereal. That strong warning from the Centers for Disease Control was issued this week as 30 more cases of salmonella infections were linked to the Kellogg's product.

In fact, the CDC doubled down on a previous warning, now telling consumers to avoid the cereal at all costs and asking retailers to pull boxes from their shelves. The 30 additional cases of salmonella infection have been linked to the cereal since July, bringing the total number of cases to 130, including 34 hospitalizations in 36 states 

The outbreak was first announced by the CDC in June, and Kellogg's quickly issued a voluntary recall of the product. Yet the Food and Drug Administration has received reports that the cereal is still being sold in certain locations.

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The CDC says consumers should not buy boxes of Honey Smacks still for sale on store shelves and should throw away any of the cereal already in their home pantries, regardless of “best by” or “sell by” dates. (You can also file a complaint with the FDA to report the sale of a recalled product.) 

Boomers may remember the cereal as Sugar Smacks, the name it had from its introduction in 1953 until the 1980s. Regardless of the name, the CDC advises that you discard any “oval-shaped, sweetened puffed wheat cereal with a golden-brown color” in your home if you store cereal without packaging and cannot remember what kind you have. If you stored the cereal in a container, wash the container thoroughly before reuse. 

Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Most people recover without treatment, but complications can be serious and sometimes fatal for young children, adults 65 and older, and those with weakened immune systems. 

Heeding the CDC’s warning is all the more important for those groups.