At least 23 people in 14 different states have been made ill
by the salmonella virus found in two breakfast cereals manufactured by
Malt-O-Meal. The cereals were recalled on April 5 after the company discovered
salmonella contamination during routine testing. No deaths have been reported
in association with the contamination, but three people have been hospitalized.
“The Malt-O-Meal company has been extremely cooperative
in this investigation and has done the right thing to protect the public’s
health,” Heidi Kassenborg, director of the dairy and food inspection
division at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, said in a statement.
Nausea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps characterize
salmonella infection. Those who have experienced these symptoms after eating
Malt-O-Meal should contact their physician for advise. Illnesses related to the
recalled cereals should also be reported to state and local health authorities.
The FDA said the recalled products were distributed
nationally under the Malt-O-Meal brand name, as well as private labels
including Acme, America’s Choice, Food Club, Giant, Hannaford, Jewel, Laura
Lynn, Pathmark, Shaw’s, ShopRite, Tops and Weis Quality. The cereal bags have
“best if used by” dates from April 8, 2008 (coded as APR0808),
through March 18, 2009 (coded as MAR1809).
Consumers with affected lots of cereal are encouraged to
throw them out. Retailers have been informed to remove affected lots from their