April 16, 2008: Malt-O-Meal Cereal Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

At least 23 people in 14 states have been sickened in an outbreak of Salmonella Agona that may be linked to consuming Malt-O-Meal unsweetened Puffed Rice and unsweetened Puffed Wheat cereals.

The Malt-O-Meal company discovered the Salmonella contamination during routine testing on March 24, and announced the recall on April 5. The recalled Malt-O-Meal cereal was produced at a plant in Minnesota.

Cereals subject to recall were distributed nationally under the Malt-O-Meal brand name as well as under private label brands including Acme, America’s Choice, Food Club, Giant, Hannaford, Jewel, Laura Lynn, Pathmark, Shaw’s, ShopRite, Tops and Weis Quality. The cereals have “Best If Used By” dates from April 8, 2008 (coded as “APR0808”) through March 18, 2009 (coded as “MAR1809”).

According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, as of April 11, 2008:

State and city health departments from 13 states identified 21 ill persons infected with Salmonella Agona with the same genetic fingerprint. Ill persons with the outbreak strain have been reported from California (1), Colorado (1), Delaware (1), Maine (3), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (1), North Dakota (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (3), New York (3), Pennsylvania (1), Rhode Island (1), and Vermont (1). Illness onset dates, which are known for 9 patients, ranged from January 22 to March 2, 2008. Their ages range from 1 to 95 years; 62% are female. Three hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported.

The CDC also warns that:

Recalled Malt-O-Meal products may still be in grocery stores and in consumers’ homes. Consumers who have unsweetened Puffed Rice and unsweetened Puffed Wheat cereals should check the “Best If Used By” dates printed on the product. Any cereals with a “Best If Used By” date of April 8, 2008 to March 29, 2009 should not consume the product. Consumers should contact local health departments and indicate that they have a recalled product.

Symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning may include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain. Symptoms usually appear within 12-72 hours after the ingestion of contaminated food.  The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to suffer severe illness.

To learn more about Salmonella food poisoning, please visit our additional website www.foodpoisoning.com.

The Law Firm of Eric Weinberg currently represents individuals who have been sickened in Salmonella food poisoning outbreaks nationwide. If you have been injured as a result of Salmonella food poisoning and you have a question concerning your legal rights, please call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274, or see Free Legal Case Evaluation. To learn more about our legal practice, please see Food Poisoning Lawyer.

For information on recent food poisoning outbreaks and food recalls, please see Hepatitis A Food Poisoning Lawyer.