(Reuters) - Kellogg Co said on Thursday it is recalling an estimated 1.3 million cases of its Honey Smacks cereal from more than 30 U.S. states due to the potential for Salmonella contamination, in the latest case of U.S. food products possibly tainted by the illness-causing bacteria.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration said it worked with Kellogg to issue the recall after preliminary evidence linked the product to more than 60 illnesses.
“The FDA is working with the company to quickly remove this cereal from the marketplace,” the agency said in a statement.
The FDA said it has asked Kellogg to request that all retailers of the product immediately put up signs saying Honey Smacks cereal has been recalled and to remove the potentially contaminated product from shelves.
The U.S. health regulator also said it is inspecting the facility that manufactures Honey Smacks.
Kellogg earlier on Thursday said it launched an investigation with the third-party manufacturer that produces the cereal immediately after being contacted by the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding reports of illnesses.
The company said the affected products had use by dates of June 14, 2018 through June 14, 2019. The voluntary recall involves its 15.3 ounce and 23 oz. Honey Smacks packages. No other Kellogg products are impacted by the recall, the company said.
Earlier this month, the FDA warned residents of eight U.S. states about recalled packages of pre-cut melon linked to a Salmonella outbreak. They had been distributed to stores operated by Costco Wholesale Corp, Kroger Co, Walmart Inc, and Amazon.com Inc’s Whole Foods.
The FDA and CDC are investigating here that outbreak, which has also been linked to more than 60 illnesses and at least 31 hospitalizations in five states. No deaths have been reported.
Salmonella can cause diarrhea and severe abdominal cramps lasting up to three days and is particularly dangerous to young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.
It causes an estimated 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths in the United States each year, according to the CDC.
Reporting by Uday Sampath and Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot
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