Sick with Salmonella?
Call (612) 337-6126
Lawyer Elliot Olsen has regained millions of dollars for people harmed by Salmonella. If you or a family member became ill after eating contaminated Kellogg’s Honey Smacks produced by Kerry, Inc., you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation, or complete the following:
Kerry, Inc. was identified as the third-party manufacturer of the contaminated Kellogg’s Honey Smacks that sickened 135 people in a Salmonella outbreak.
A letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that officials at Kerry’s manufacturing plant in Gridley, Illinois, were aware of Salmonella contamination as early as September 2016 and did not follow safety protocols.
This is the first time the FDA has publically mentioned Kerry, Inc. as the source of the outbreak.
Kerry contamination found in 2016
The FDA letter states that Kerry’s Gridley facility tested positive for Salmonella numerous times between September 2016 and May 2018. The letter mentions 81 positive Salmonella environmental samples and 32 positive Salmonella vector samples in the cereal coating room, production lines, and rooms used to manufacture cereal.
The letter also alleges that the Kerry facility did not take the proper steps once Salmonella was discovered. The Gridley plant’s failure to follow safety procedures led to this summer’s nationwide outbreak, in which 135 people were sickened in 36 states, and 34 of them were hospitalized.
CDC ends inquiry
Just last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it had concluded its investigation into the outbreak. The CDC warned, however, that recalled boxes of the Kellogg’s cereal have a long shelf life and might still be in consumers’ homes.
The recall occurred on June 14, when the FDA announced 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.
Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to eat Salmonella-contaminated Honey Smacks and become ill.
Kerry contributes to busy 2018
Salmonella outbreaks are not uncommon in the United States. This year, such disparate foods as eggs, dried coconut, pre-cut melon, and raw chicken have been just a few of the food products causing outbreaks in 2018.
Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in mammals’ intestines, including humans. The bacteria usually contaminates food that has been in contact with fecal matter.
That usually occurs where the food is produced: down on the farm. Salmonella in animal feces can contaminate water used to irrigate crops.
Salmonella contamination also can happen during processing. If an ingredient is contaminated with Salmonella, it can transfer to equipment and spread bacteria to other food.
Another way for food to become contaminated in the production process: Employees don’t wash their hands properly, thus becoming a source of contamination.
Kerry not the first for cereal
A Salmonella outbreak from dry cereal has occurred before. In 1998, the CDC reported an outbreak of more than 200 cases of salmonellosis – the disease caused by Salmonella – due to contaminated Millville Toasted Oats. Then, in 2008, CDC officials reported another Salmonella outbreak from contaminated cereal, also traced to Millville.
This happens because Salmonella bacteria can survive for a long time in dry environments.
“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, said in a February 2018 interview with Live Science.
The 2008 outbreak “highlight[ed] the resilience of Salmonella, suggesting that this organism can persist in dry food production environments for years,” researchers wrote.
Kerry and Salmonella: disease info
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection can last up to a week and include:
- diarrhea, which can turn bloody
- abdominal pains
Most people recover without seeking medical help. However, diarrhea sometimes becomes so severe that dehydration occurs and hospitalization is necessary.
If that happens, complications are possible. They occur when Salmonella bacteria enter the bloodstream and can include:
- meningitis: inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
- endocarditis: infection of the heart’s inner lining, usually involving the heart’s valves.
- osteomyelitis: bone inflammation that generally targets the legs, arms, or spine.
- reactive arthritis (or Reiter’s syndrome): a type of inflammatory arthritis that develops when a Salmonella infection affects another part of the body.
In addition, women who are pregnant and contract salmonellosis are more likely to develop complications. A pregnant woman sick with salmonellosis can experience stillbirth, suffer a miscarriage, or go into premature labor.
Anyone with a weakened immune system is susceptible to complications, as are children and the elderly.