As of September 25, 2018, 135 people infected with the outbreak strain of SalmonellaMbandaka were reported from 36 states. Illnesses started on dates from March 3, 2018, to August 29, 2018. Ill people ranged in age from less than one year to 95, with a median age of 57. Sixty-nine percent of ill people were female. Out of 101 people with information available, 34 (34%) were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
WGS analysis did not predict antibiotic resistance in bacteria isolated from 91 ill people and 8 food and environmental samples. Testing of five clinical isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing methods by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory also did not show antibiotic resistance.
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicated that Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal was the likely source of this multistate outbreak. In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Sixty-three (75%) of 84 people interviewed reported eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Ill people in this outbreak reported this cereal more often than any other cereals or food items.
Health officials in several states collected Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal from retail locations and ill people’s homes for testing. Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of SalmonellaMbandaka in a sample of unopened Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal collected from a retail location in California.
Laboratory testing also identified the outbreak strain in samples of leftover Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal collected from the homes of ill people in Montana, New York, and Utah. WGS showed that Salmonellabacteria isolated from sick people and the cereal were closely related genetically. This result provides more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks.
On June 14, 2018, the Kellogg Company recalled all Honey Smacks cereal that were on the market within the cereal’s one-year shelf-life.As of September 26, 2018, this outbreak investigation is over.