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Salmonella-Contaminated Cereal Sickens 23 Across 14 States

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At least 23 people across 14 states have been infected with salmonellosis caused by the same strain of bacteria found in the recently recalled unsweetened Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat Cereals manufactured by Malt-O-Meal, according a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to the news release, the recalled products were distributed nationally under the Malt-O-Meal brand name as well as private label brands such as Acme, America’s Choice, Food Club, Giant, Hannaford, Jewel, Tops and Weis Quality.

The cereals reportedly have “Best If Used By” dates from April 8, 2008 through March 18, 2009. Consumers have been asked to discard any of the above contaminated products. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections. This is particularly true for young children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems. Some of the common symptoms of food-borne salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea and painful abdominal cramps.

As personal injury attorneys, who deal with foodborne illnesses all the time, we know how unpleasant and how painful a salmonella infection can be. Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys successfully represented Robert Rife, who got the infection by eating contaminated raw quail egg at a sushi restaurant in Orange County. We later discovered that the restaurant had several health violations.

We wouldn’t wish what our client went through on anyone. All you have to do is read his story to understand the agony of what he went through. Salmonella infections don’t just come and go away like the flu. It could cause serious damage to your body and even your internal organs. In people with poor health or weakened immune systems, Salmonella can invade the blood stream and cause life-threatening conditions.

If you believe you have consumed Malt-O-Meal cereal and are experiencing some of these symptoms, please contact your health care practitioner immediately and report the illness to your state or county health authorities. It might also help to preserve the cereal box you ate from just to make sure that is what caused your infection. On April 5, Malt-O-Meal voluntarily recalled the cereals because the company’s routine testing found the bacteria contamination in a product produced on March 24, 2008.

Health officials are still reportedly working to determine how the contamination occurred and to prevent additional illnesses. For more information from your local health care agency, please visit the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Web site.

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