Sick with Salmonella?
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Attorney Elliot Olsen has regained millions of dollars for people sickened by Salmonella; he has four clients in this year’s outbreak from contaminated eggs. If you or a family member got sick after eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation, or complete the following:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its statistics on the national Salmonella outbreak from contaminated Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal, and the numbers are eye-popping:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in mid-June that Kellogg’s had voluntarily recalled 15.3-ounce and 23-ounce boxes of Honey Smacks. The CDC, however, recommended soon thereafter that consumers not purchase nor retailers sell any Honey Smacks regardless of package size or best-by date.
Honey Smacks: How?
Salmonella outbreaks are not uncommon in the United States, and especially this year. Contaminated eggs, pre-cut melon, dried coconut, and raw chicken are just a few of the causes of outbreaks in 2018.
A Salmonella outbreak from dry cereal? Believe it or not, it has happened before.
Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of mammals – humans included. That bacteria generally gets into food that has been contaminated with fecal matter.
That can happen on farms where the food is grown. For example, Salmonella in animal feces can contaminate water used to irrigate fields, and that water contaminates the crops.
Contamination also can occur during the processing stage. If an ingredient is contaminated with Salmonella, it may get on equipment that can spread it to other food.
Another way for food to become contaminated: Employees who don’t wash their hands properly can be a source of contamination in production facilities.
Honey Smacks: not a cereal first
Salmonella outbreaks have been caused by contaminated cereal before. In 1998, the CDC reported an outbreak of more than 200 cases of salmonellosis attributed to Millville Toasted Oats.
This occurs because Salmonella bacteria are relatively resistant to drying processes and can survive for a long time in dry environments such as cereal, the CDC said then.
“A dry heat actually makes [Salmonella bacteria] more persistent in a food or ingredient,” Benjamin Chapman, an associate professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, told Live Science in a February 2018 interview.
Ten years after that 1998 Toasted Oats outbreak, CDC officials reported another Salmonella outbreak from contaminated cereal, also traced to Millville. Officials surmised that a construction project in the manufacturing facility may have allowed the reintroduction of the dried outbreak strain of Salmonella into the area where the cereal was produced.
That “outbreak highlight[ed] the resilience of Salmonella, suggesting that this organism can persist in dry food production environments for years,” researchers wrote in a 2008 report.
Honey Smacks: Salmonella info
According to the CDC, about 1.2 million Americans are sickened by Salmonella on an annual basis. About 23,000 of those victims will need to be hospitalized, and about 450 of them will die.
Salmonella bacteria produce an illness called salmonellosis, which affects the intestines. Salmonellosis can develop anywhere from 12 hours to three days after eating food contaminated with Salmonella.
As with most types of foodborne illnesses, symptoms can last up to a week and include:
- diarrhea, which can be bloody
- abdominal cramps
Most people recover without needing to see a health-care professional, but in some cases, diarrhea can become so severe that hospitalization is necessary.
Pregnancies at risk
Pregnant women are at a higher risk for contracting salmonellosis because their immune systems are suppressed because of hormonal changes. They are also more likely to develop complications; a pregnant woman who becomes ill from Salmonella can suffer a miscarriage, go into premature labor, or experience stillbirth.
Other categories of people most at risk for complications are the very young and very old, and anyone with a compromised immune system.
When Salmonella bacteria enter the bloodstream, that’s when complications can occur. Other types of complications include:
- meningitis, which is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
- endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart’s inner lining, usually involving the heart valves.
- osteomyelitis, which is abone inflammation that usually targets the legs, arms, or spine.
- reactive arthritis – also called Reiter’s syndrome – which is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in response to a Salmonella infection in another part of the body.