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Anne Fennessey
Anne Fennessey
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Mainers Sickened By Cereal

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The Portland Press Herald has reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a statement on April 12, 2008 detailing the most recent information regarding consumer illnesses that were caused by the same strain of Salmonella that was found in cereal produced by Malt-O-Meal, a company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

At least 23 people in Maine and 13 other states have been diagnosed with salmonellosis after being treated for symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.  There have been no deaths reported, but three people became so sick that they needed to be hospitalized,according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The cereal, Malt-O-Meal’s Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice, was voluntarily recalled by the company on April 5, 2008 after the problem was discovered during routine product testing. Before the recall, the cereal was delivered to stores all over the country, using the Malt-O-Meal label, as well as private labels such as Hannaford’s, Shaws, and ShopRite.

Consumers should check for “best if used by” dates from April 8, 2008 through March 18,2009 and throw away any product labelled with those dates.  Stores have been told to take the cereal off their shelves.