Salmonella outbreak, tests spur recall of Duncan Hines cake mixes


Spammer Hammer
GOLD Site Supporter
Salmonella outbreak, tests spur recall of Duncan Hines cake mixes

By Coral Beach on November 5, 2018
Federal officials are working with Conagra Brands to investigate Salmonella infections associated with Duncan Hines cake mix. The multinational food giant today recalled some of the mixes because one flavor tested positive for the outbreak strain of the bacteria.

“The FDA is investigating the manufacturing facility that made recalled Duncan Hines cake mixes,” according to an investigation announcement posted tonight by the Food and Drug Administration. “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 owns the manufacturing facility that produced the Duncan Hines cake mixes. Investigators from the FDA are collecting test samples of products and environmental samples from the equipment and surfaces in the manufacturing plant.

Both FDA and Conagra officials say consumers should not bake with or eat the recalled cake mixes. They also are renewing advice against eating uncooked batter, flour, cake mix powder, or anything containing uncooked flour or eggs.

The Conagra recall notice says it distributed the implicated cake mixes to retailers nationwide in the United States and to “limited” international export markets.

“While it has not been definitively concluded that this product is linked to the outbreak and the investigation is still ongoing, Conagra has decided to voluntarily recall the specific Duncan Hines variety identified, Classic White, and three other varieties — Classic Butter Golden, Signature Confetti and Classic Yellow — made during the same time period out of an abundance of caution,” the recall notice states.

The FDA investigation notice says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of five illnesses. It is likely that additional illnesses will be added to the case count because of the time lag between when a person becomes sick and when the CDC receives confirmed laboratory test results.

Investigators from the CDC are continuing to interview the sick people to determine whether they were exposed to Duncan Hines cake mixes before becoming ill.

Conagra’s recall notice says “several of the individuals reported consuming a cake mix at some point prior to becoming ill, and some may have also consumed these products raw and not baked.”

“Consumers are reminded to wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw batter products, to follow baking instructions, and to never eat raw batter,” Conagra’s notice says. “Consumers who have purchased these items are advised not to consume them and to return them to the store where originally purchased.”

Consumers with questions can call Conagra at 888-299-7646 or visit

Advice for consumers
Food that is contaminated with Salmonella bacteria usually does not look, smell or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients need to be hospitalized.

Older adults, children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and to not get sick or show any symptoms, but to still be able to spread the infection to others.

Consumers and retailers can identify the recalled cake mixes by looking for the following labeling information:

  • The recalled white cake mix has best if used by dates of March 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13, 2019 and the UPC code 644209307500.
  • The recalled yellow cake mix has best if used by dates of March 9, 10, 12 and 13, 2019 and the UPC code 644209307494.
  • The recalled butter golden cake mix has best if used by dates of March 7, 8 and 9, 2019 and the UPC code 644209307593.
  • The recalled confetti cake mix has best if used by dates of March 12 and 13, 2019 and the UPC code 644209414550.


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