The FDA sent a warning letter to the Illinois plant, saying they knew as early as September 2016.
October 02, 2018

Photo by Pamela D McAdams

This story originally appeared on by Arielle Weg.

Kellogg's Honey Smacks salmonella outbreak has finally been linked to a third party manufacturer, according to an FDA letter. The letter to Kerry Inc., a manufacturing plant based in Gridley, Illinois, suggests the plant knew about the salmonella contamination as early as September 2016 and did not follow the proper safety protocols. This is the first FDA update to publically mention Kerry Inc. as the source of the salmonella outbreak.

The initial recall for Kellogg's Honey Smacks began on June 14, 2018 with specific ‘best buy' dates affected, but was later updated to include any and all boxes of the sugary cereal. The outbreak ultimately sickened 135 people in 36 states, according to the Miami Herald.

More information on the Honey Smacks' salmonella recall:

This FDA warning letter states the facility tested positive for salmonella multiple times between September 2016 and May 2018, including 81 positive salmonella environmental samples and 32 positive salmonella vector samples in spaces such as the cereal coating room, production lines, and rooms used to manufacture cereal. The letter alleges that the facility did not take the proper steps once the salmonella was found, leading to the most recent outbreak among consumers.

In an email to the Miami Herald, FDA spokesman Peter Cassell said, "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." He added, "The FDA is working with Kellogg's to ensure Honey Smacks are safe when they are again available to consumers and is continuing to warn consumers against eating any Honey Smacks with a marked ‘best if used by' date before June 14, 2019."

Salmonella symptoms include severe diarrhea, high fevers, and painful abdominal cramps approximately 72 hours after digesting the food. If you are experiencing these symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately.

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