Conagra Brands has issued a voluntary recall of four Duncan Hines cake mixes because of possible salmonella contamination, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported on Monday. The brand said in a statement that the cake mixes are being recalled due to “a positive finding of salmonella in a retail sample of Duncan Hines Classic White cake mix that may be linked to a salmonella outbreak that is currently being investigated by CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and FDA.” Conagra states in the press release that the investigation is still ongoing, as it hasn’t been confirmed yet that the cake mixes are linked to the outbreak.
CBS News reports that the CDC has received five reports of salmonella-related illness linked to the cake mixes. Reports of additional illnesses are expected, as there’s typically a delay between illness onset and CDC confirmation through lab tests. Conagra is recalling 2.4 million boxes of the cake mixes, while CDC investigators continue to interview people sickened by salmonella to find out if they’d eaten a cake mix before getting ill. It’s also possible that some of these patients may have eaten the cake mix products raw and not baked, CBS says. Bustle has reached out to Conagra Brands for comment, and we will update this story when we hear back.
The FDA notes that salmonella is an organism that can cause serious illness in children, older people, and anyone with a compromised immune system. Symptoms can include fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting. In some cases, the infection can spread to the bloodstream, which may cause severe complications, such as additional infections and arthritis. Dehydration can also result from diarrhea, says the Mayo Clinic, and treatments include replacing lost fluids and anti-diarrheal medications. Antibiotics may also be used if the salmonella infection has entered the bloodstream. Healthy people can usually recover from salmonella infection at home, but are advised to drink plenty of fluids or suck on ice chips to avoid dehydration. If you suspect that you or a family member have been sickened by salmonella, make sure to check in with your doctor as soon as you can.
“Consumers are reminded not to consume any raw batter,” Conagra said in the press release. “Cake mixes and batter can be made with ingredients such as eggs or flour which can carry risks of bacteria that are rendered harmless by baking, frying, or boiling.”
While the CDC awaits confirmation that these products are linked to the salmonella outbreak, the Classic White, Classic Butter Golden, Signature Confetti, and Classic Yellow Duncan Hines cake mixes have been recalled by Conagra, according to CNN. UPC and best if used by dates for the recalled products can be found in the FDA statement here.
CNN reports that consumers are being advised not to eat any of the recalled cake mix products, while retailers are removing them from store shelves. If you have any boxes of the recalled cake mixes, you can return them to the where you bought the mix from for a full refund. The FDA also advises that you always wash your hands, surfaces, and utensils after contact with raw batter. It’s also important to fully follow the baking instructions listed on the box in order to avoid possible infections from harmful bacteria.