FDA Investigation Finds Honey Smacks Maker Did Not Make Cereal Safe for Consumers
The Kellogg’s Honey Smacks salmonella outbreak that made 135 people ill in 36 states has been traced back to a plant in which salmonella had been found multiple times from September 2016 through May 2018. According to a report in the Miami Herald, an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that the Gridley, Illinois, plant run by Wisconsin-based Kerry, Inc. did not do enough to protect the cereal from getting salmonella and carrying to the masses. The FDA sent a warning letter identifying specific problems at the facility.
Violation of Food Safety Standards
The FDA is working with Kellogg’s to ensure Honey Smacks are safe when they become available to consumers again. The agency is also warning the public not to eat any Honey Smacks cereal with the “best if used by” date before June 14, 2019. The warning letter dated July 26, 2018 was posted on the FDA site. It stated that FDA inspectors found serious violations of various food safety standards including failure of sanitation controls that are specifically meant to prevent salmonella.
The FDA also got 81 positive salmonella environmental samples and 32 positive salmonella vector samples between Sept. 29, 2016 and May 16, 2018. Among those positive samples were four from the cereal coating room and in other areas where the cereal is manufactured. FDA officials said that the Kerry facility did not take any corrective steps even after finding the salmonella. As part of its findings, the FDA has recommended a comprehensive correction plan for the facility.
Compensation for Victims
Clearly, this outbreak has resulted in numerous illnesses involving victims from infants to the elderly. Some of the most serious outbreaks in the nation’s history have involved companies that process food. For example a peanut butter salmonella outbreak in 2008 sickened more than 700 and killed 9. This outbreak lasted several months and spread across 46 states prompting one of the largest recalls in U.S. history. The CEO of that company is now serving a 28-year prison sentence for knowingly shipping out contaminated food.
If you or a loved one has been sickened as a result of contaminated food, you may be able to hold the responsible parties accountable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. An experienced California food poisoning lawyer will be able to help victims secure compensation for medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization and pain and suffering.