E. coli outbreaks are never good. And worse yet, they’re not that uncommon. And we’re here to tell you that a new E. coli outbreak is on the loose–but the suspected culprit is a bit surprising.
The 2021 E. Coli Outbreak
A series of E. coli infections were reported earlier in 2021, spanning across 12 states. The first recorded date of illness was February 2021, and the most recent one was in June.
The states impacted were Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregn, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington. Thankfully, none of the patients who fell ill have died, though one patient has developed kidney failure.
So, what’s the suspected source of this outbreak? Boxed cake mix.
Many of the patients who fell ill said they’d consumed cake mix shortly before getting sick. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is still unsure which brand or brands were involved and are tracing store purchase records to try to solve this mystery.
Should We Stop Eating Boxed Cake Mix?
When the E. coli culprit is still on the loose, it can be worrisome to consume boxed cake mix. However, we certainly don’t need to start avoiding it entirely.
However, this is a good reminder that food poisoning and E. coli infections can happen with just about any food, if we aren’t cautious enough.
How To Avoid Boxed Cake Mix Illnesses
Most of us have likely sampled uncooked cake batter by licking the mixing spoon clean. And the odds are usually in our favor, as we rarely get sick from doing so.
However, if you’d like to give yourself some reassurance regarding E. coli infections, it’s best to avoid consuming raw cake mix. Cooking the batter is the only way to completely kill the E. coli bacteria, so it’s a good insurance policy for staying away from food poisoning.
And remember, while E. coli infections can be mild, they can also become quite serious and dangerous. So, it’s always a good idea to responsibly prevent an infection from happening.