WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration said at least 21 people in 13 states have been diagnosed with salmonellosis caused by the same strain of salmonella bacteria that was found in Malt-O-Meal’s recently recalled unsweetened Puffed Rice and unsweetened Puffed Wheat cereals. The recalled products were distributed nationally under the Malt-O-Meal brand name, as well as under private-label brands including Acme, America’s Choice, Food Club, Giant, Hannaford, Jewel, Laura Lynn, Pathmark, Shaw’s, ShopRite, Tops and Weis Quality. The cereals have “best if used by” dates from April 8, 2008 (coded as APR0808) through March 18, 2009 (coded as MAR1809). Salmonella infection can cause nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In persons with poor health or weakened immune systems, salmonella can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections. On April 5, 2008, Malt-O-Meal voluntarily recalled the cereals after the company’s routine testing found Salmonella in a product produced on March 24, 2008. The FDA is working with Malt-O-Meal to determine the cause of the contamination and with the states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify and prevent additional illnesses.
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