Press Release

April 14, 2008


State public health director warns of potential Salmonella in recalled cereal

One case of Salmonella in Illinois resident who ate recalled cereal

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, is warning consumers not to eat Malt-O-Meal unsweetened Puffed Rice and unsweetened Puffed Wheat with “best if used by” dates ranging from APR0808 (April 8, 2008) to MAR2909 (March 29, 2009) due to possible Salmonella contamination. Malt-O-Meal recalled the cereal after the company’s internal routine food safety testing found Salmonella. A link between the cereal and Salmonella cases has not yet been confirmed.

“I want people to check their shelves for the recalled puffed rice or puffed wheat cereals and get rid of them. Although it has not yet been confirmed that this cereal has caused people to become ill, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Either take the cereal back to the store where you bought it for a refund or throw it out, but just make sure you don’t eat it,” said Dr. Arnold.

In Illinois, there is one case of Salmonella in a person who reported eating the product, but tests are still pending.

Salmonella is often mistaken for the “stomach flu.” Symptoms, which last from 24 hours to 12 days, include headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, rumblings in the bowels, chills, fever, nausea and dehydration. Symptoms usually appear six to 72 hours after ingestion. Anyone experiencing these symptoms after eating the recalled cereal is urged to contact their health care provider and local health department.

The recalled product was distributed nationally, marketed under the Malt-O-Meal brand and as some private label brands including Acme, America’s Choice, Food Club, Giant, Hannaford, Jewel, Laura Lynn, Pathmark, Shaw’s, Shoprite, Tops and Weis Quality. A comprehensive listing of affected products can be found at Malt-O-Meal reports that all its other products are safe to eat.

Consumers with questions may contact Malt-O-Meal at 1-877-665-9331.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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