FDA has reported that at least 23 people in 14 states had fallen ill from the same strain of salmonella found in two breakfast cereals recalled by Malt-O-Meal. The company voluntarily recalled its products; unsweetened Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat cereals after discovering they were contaminated with salmonella during routine testing.

Director of the dairy and food inspection division at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Heidi Kassenborg, reported that the Malt-O-Meal company has actively cooperated in the investigation and has done the right thing to protect the public's health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have occurred.
Salmonella infection causes symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. For those with poor health or weakened immune systems such as young children and the elderly, the infection can be life-threatening.

The FDA advised people, who had eaten puffed wheat or puffed rice cereal made by Malt-O-Meal and start experiencing such symptoms, to contact their doctors and report the illness to state or local health authorities.

The recalled products were distributed nationally under the Malt-O-Meal brand name, but also under private labels such as Acme, America's Choice, Food Club, Giant, Hannaford, Jewel, Laura Lynn, Pathmark, Shaw's, ShopRite, Tops and Weis Quality.

The cereal bags have "best if used by" dates from April 8, 2008 (coded as APR0808), through March 18, 2009 (coded as MAR1809).
Consumers with products from the recalled lots should throw them outside while retailers have been made to remove the cereals from their shelves.

The CDC said that they had received reports of 21 people ill with the same salmonella strain in 13 states since Friday. California reported 1; Colorado, 1; Delaware, 1; Maine, 3; Massachusetts, 2; Minnesota, 1; North Dakota, 1; New Hampshire, 2; New Jersey, 3; New York, 3; Pennsylvania, 1; Rhode Island, 1; and Vermont, 1.