Maine CDC Press Release

April 10, 2008

Cereal recalled due to Contamination with Salmonella

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH
207-287-3270

On April 5, 2008 the Malt-O-Meal Company of Minnesota announced a recall of unsweetened puffed rice and unsweetened puffed wheat cereal. In addition to Malt-O-Meal’s own brand, these cereals are sold under multiple labels, including the store brands for Hannaford and Shaw’s Supermarkets. The other brands being recalled are Acme, America’s Choice, Food Club, Giant, Jewel, Laura Lynn, Pathmark, ShopRite, Tops, and Weis Quality. The products recalled include “Best if used by” codes between April 8, 2008 (APR0808) and March 18, 2009 (MAR1809). The entire list of products included in the recall is available at: http://www.malt-o-meal.com/recallinfo/ . The reason for the recall was contamination with Salmonella.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause illness resulting in abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The infection can be most severe in the very young, the elderly, and those who may have compromised immune systems. Salmonella is often transmitted through consumption of contaminated food.

Maine has identified three cases of infection with a strain of Salmonella similar to that found in the contaminated cereal, based on preliminary information. The onset of illness dates range from January 22 to March 19. Two of the individuals were hospitalized. . All three reported consumption of unsweetened puffed rice or wheat cereals, but at present it is unknown if the products consumed were part of the current recall. Additional cases of illness in other states are being investigated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Individuals with unsweetened puffed wheat or rice cereal affected by the recall should discard the product or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Individuals who have eaten the product and are currently ill with diarrhea should consult with their health care provider. For further information, please contact the Division of Infectious Disease at the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by calling 1-800-821-5821.