Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives a more detailed DNA fingerprint than PFGE.
As of June 14, 2018, 73 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka have been reported from 31 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Case Count Map page.
Illnesses started on dates from March 3, 2018, to May 28, 2018. Ill people range in age from less than one year to 87, with a median age of 58. Sixty-five percent are female. Out of 55 people with information available, 24 (44%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses that occurred after May 22, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.
Investigation of the Outbreak
Epidemiologic evidence indicates that Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal is a likely source of this multistate outbreak.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Thirty (77%) of 39 people interviewed reported eating cold cereal. In interviews, 14 people specifically reported eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Ill people in this outbreak reported this cereal more often than any other cereals or food items.
On June 14, 2018, the Kellogg Company recalled packages of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.
CDC will provide updates when more information is available.