The CDC Is Investigating a Multistate E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Boxed Cake Mix

This E. coli outbreak is a reminder that eating—or even tasting—raw cake batter is never safe.

It’s always important to practice kitchen safety when cooking at home. Wash your hands, tools and countertops after dealing with raw meat, eggs and even flour to help prevent foodborne illness. This rule of thumb applies to raw foods from the grocery store as well.

The latest purchase to come under scrutiny is something we’re all likely to have in our pantry. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now investigating an E. coli outbreak related to store-bought cake batter.

What Caused the Outbreak?

Sick people in this outbreak reported eating raw cake batter made from a variety of boxed cake mixes. If you taste or eat raw batter, it can cause serious food poisoning, especially for children under the age of 18.

So far, 16 people have reported an illness related to this particular strain of E. coli, according to the CDC.

How Do I Know If I Bought the Affected Products?

No specific brands or products have been named by the CDC.

Right now, people affected by the E. coli outbreak live in 12 states across the country. The CDC will be regularly updating this map, which shows where sick people live.

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington

It’s important to bake all raw batter before eating. Eating raw cake batter can make you sick because it may contain harmful germs like E. coli. 

What Should I Do Now?

It may be tempting, but don’t taste any raw batter, whether it’s from a homemade recipe or store-bought cake mix. Follow food safety rules  when baking with cake mix or flour, as well as raw ingredients like eggs. Then, follow the recipe or package directions for cooking or baking at the proper temperature and for the right amount of time.

Call your doctor right away if you have any severe E. coli symptoms, like stomach cramps or vomiting. And make sure to keep an eye out for new updates, especially from the CDC.

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Melany Love
Having always wanted a career in writing, Melany couldn't have found a better place than Taste of Home to begin. When she's not scribbling in her notebook or working at her computer, she can be found experimenting with new recipes or relaxing with a book and her cats.