12 States Dealing With E. Coli Outbreak Linked To Cake Mix

By Jason Hall

August 2, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning consumers about an E. coli outbreak that has been linked to pre-made cake mix.

CBS Boston reports the issue is not being traced back to a specific brand and has already infected 16 individuals in 12 states.

The states that have already reported illnesses include Massachusetts, Virginia, South Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Oregon and Washington.

“Sick people in this outbreak reported tasting or eating raw cake batter made from a variety of cake mixes,” the CDC said via CBS Boston.

The CDC reports 75% of infected individuals are children under the age of 18, who are more likely to have a severe E. coli infection.

"Eating raw cake batter can make you sick. Raw cake batter can contain harmful germs likeE. coli.Germs are killed only when raw batter is baked or cooked," the CDC wrote on its website.

The CDC has issued the following guidelines for safe food handling practices when baking and cooking with cake mixes, flour, and other raw ingredients:

  • Do not taste or eat any raw batter, whether it is from a homemade recipe or from a mix.
  • Do not let children eat raw batter. Foodborne illnesses can be more serious for children.
  • Bake or cook raw batter before eating.
  • Follow the recipe or package directions for cooking or baking at the proper temperature and for the specified time.
  • Do not make milkshakes with products that contain raw foods such as cake mix, flour, or eggs.
  • Keep raw foods such as cake mix, flour, or eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods. Because cake mix and flour are powders, they can spread easily.
  • Follow label directions to refrigerate products containing raw batter or eggs until they are cooked.
  • Clean up thoroughly after handling cake mix, flour, or eggs:
    • Wash your hands with running water and soap after handling cake mix, flour, raw eggs, or any surfaces they have touched.
    • Wash bowls, utensils, countertops, and other surfaces with warm, soapy water.

Any individuals experiencing the following E. coli symptoms are advised to contact their healthcare provider immediately:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Not peeing much
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Feeling dizzy when standing up
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