April 8, 2008 — /MINNEAPOLIS, MN/ — Malt-O-Meal announced today that it is voluntarily recalling its unsweetened puffed rice and unsweetened puffed wheat cereals produced with “Best if used by” codes between April 8, 2008 (coded as APR0808) and March 18, 2009 (coded as MAR1809) because they may have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
The recalled product was distributed nationally marketed under the Malt-O-Meal brand and as some private label brands including Acme, America’s Choice, Food Club, Giant, Hannaford, Jewel, Laura Lynn, Pathmark, Shaw’s, ShopRite, Tops, and Weis Quality. A comprehensive listing of impacted products can be found here.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this situation. All other Malt-O-Meal products are unaffected by this action and are safe for continued sale and consumption. The products affected by this recall represent less than one half of one percent of the company’s annual production of ready-to-eat cereal.
“Our first and highest priority is the safety of the consumers who use our products,” says Malt-O-Meal president and CEO Chris Neugent. “It’s important that we spread the word about this situation quickly and broadly in order to remove even the slightest possibility that someone will consume something harmful. We apologize for this situation and promise to do everything to complete the recall as quickly as possible.”
The recall was initiated after the company’s internal routine food safety testing detected the presence of Salmonella in a product produced on March 24, 2008. The company immediately commenced an investigation to determine the root cause of this one positive finding as well as the extent of any possible exposure. Initial results from this follow-up investigation indicate that additional product may have been exposed to this contaminant. Thus, out of an abundance of caution to protect consumers, the company has chosen to voluntarily remove all unsweetened puffed rice and unsweetened puffed wheat products that may have been contaminated.
Investigation into the source of the Salmonella has determined a root cause of this situation and corrective measures have been taken to ensure that there is no reoccurrence of this issue.
Persons infected with Salmonella may experience a variety of symptoms and illnesses. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, persons infected with Salmonella may experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in more severe illnesses, some potentially life threatening.
Consumers who have purchased any products covered by this recall are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-877-665-9331. Information regarding this recall, including images of the Malt-O-Meal product packaging, also will be posted to the company’s website.