FDA Investigated Recalled Duncan Hines Cake Mixes Potentially Linked to Salmonella Agbeni Illnesses
On January 14, 2019, CDC reported that this outbreak appears to be over. The FDA, CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states worked together to investigate this multistate outbreak of Salmonella Agbeni infections. In early November, FDA investigated the facility that produced the recalled cake mix; however, product and environmental samples collected at that time were negative for Salmonella. There was not enough epidemiologic and traceback information available to determine if the ill people in this outbreak had eaten the contaminated cake mix produced by Duncan Hines.
The FDA recommends consumers to not bake with or eat the recalled product. Additionally, consumers should not eat uncooked batter, flour, or cake mix powder.
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Total Illnesses: 7
Last illness onset: October 5, 2018
States with Cases: FL (1), MD (2), MO (1), OH (2), WI (1)
Conagra Brands reports that the products covered by this recall were distributed for retail sale in the U.S. and limited international exports; the specific product information is listed below. These products may be available in grocery stores around the U.S., and consumers should check their labels carefully.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.
In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than five years old is higher than the rate in all other people. Children younger than five, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons in the United States die each year with acute salmonellosis.
Retailers should not sell and should discard all recalled products.
Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. It is recommended that they wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food.
- Wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators regularly.
- Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to prepare, serve, or store food.
- Wash hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
- Regular frequent cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces and utensils used in food preparation may help to minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination.
The FDA advised consumers not to bake with or eat any recalled cake mix. If already purchased, consumers should throw it away or return to the place of purchase for a refund.
Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. It is recommended that they wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food.
FDA offers these tips for safe food handling to keep you and your family healthy:
- Do not eat any raw cake mix, batter, or any other raw dough or batter product that is supposed to be cooked or baked.
- Wash hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with flour and raw batter or dough products.
- Keep raw foods separate from other foods while preparing them to prevent any contamination that may be present from spreading. Be aware that flour or cake mix may spread easily due to its powdery nature.
November 7, 2018:
The FDA is investigating the manufacturing facility that made recalled Duncan Hines cake mixes. The FDA and the CDC informed Conagra Brands that a sample of Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix that contained Salmonella Agbeni matched the Salmonella collected from ill persons reported to the CDC. This was determined through Whole Genome Sequencing, a type of DNA analysis.
Conagra Brands is working with FDA to proactively conduct a voluntary recall of Duncan Hines cake mixes from the market. The FDA is conducting an inspection at the Conagra Brands-owned manufacturing facility that produced the cake mixes. The FDA is also collecting environmental and product samples.
Who to Contact
Consumers who have symptoms should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care.
To report a complaint or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction), you can
- Call an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator if you wish to speak directly to a person about your problem.
- Complete an electronic Voluntary MedWatch form online.
- Complete a paper Voluntary MedWatch form that can be mailed to FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/fcic for additional consumer and industry assistance.