The FDA has joined forces with Malt-O-Meal to identify the cause of contamination while state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working to identify other cases of the disease and to prevent further illness.
Anyone who purchased Malt-O-Meal’s unsweetened Puffed Rice and unsweetened Puffed Wheat Cereals with “Best If Used By” dates ranging from April 8, 2008, through March 18, 2009 (coded “APR0808” and “MAR1809,” respectively), is urged to throw them away immediately. Retailers have been asked to remove any such products from their shelves.
Malt-O-Meal distributes cereal products nationwide under their own brand name but they also sell under private labels, too. Look for the same dates and codes on puffed wheat and puffed rice cereals bearing these private labels: Acme, America’s Choice, Food Club, Giant, Hannaford, Jewel, Laura Lynn, Pathmark, Shaw’s, ShopRite, Tops, and Weis Quality.
Symptoms of salmonellosis include any or all of the following: fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. If the bacteria enters the bloodstream, life-threatening infections can occur. Symptoms can be severe in healthy individuals but can quickly become fatal to infants and children, the elderly, and anyone with chronic health conditions and immune systems compromised for any reason.
Anyone who has eaten these cereals and has experienced any of these symptoms is urged to contact a healthcare practitioner and report the illness to local or state health authorities immediately.