Editors note: This story was updated on Jan. 31, 2019 with news that the FDA has closed the investigation.
Nov. 6, 2018 -- Four varieties of Duncan Hines cake mixes have been recalled over concerns they may be contaminated with salmonella.
The FDA announced in November that Duncan Hines Classic White, Classic Butter Golden, Signature Confetti, and Classic Yellow mixes were being recalled “out of an abundance of caution.”
There have been five reported cases of people becoming infected with salmonella, although it’s not yet clear those infections were directly related to the recalled cake mixes. Several of those infected reported eating a cake made from a mix before becoming sick, the FDA says, and some said they had eaten raw cake batter.
But the FDA and the CDC have confirmed that a sample of Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix was found to contain Salmonella Agbeni, which matched a salmonella sample collected from someone who had become sick.
The agencies are investigating a Conagra Brands manufacturing plant, where the cake mixes are made.
In Janaury 2019, the FDA announced that no signs of salmonella were found at the production facility and that the agency could not prove that people who became sick had actually eaten Duncan Hines cake mixes. The investigation is now closed. Still, because a sample of the cake mix was found to have been contaminated, the recall continues. The FDA warns consumers not to purchase or use the recalled products.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with salmonella often have fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Rarely, salmonella can enter the bloodstream and produce a more severe illness.
The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. In some cases, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.
The FDA warns consumers not to eat raw batter, because it may contain eggs or flour, which carry risks of bacteria that are harmless when baked, fried, or boiled. Always wash your hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw batter.
The recalled products were distributed in the United States and limited international exports. They are:
- Duncan Hines Classic White Cake, 15.25 ounces, with UPC code 644209307500 and sell-by dates of MAR 7 2019, MAR 8 2019, MAR 9 2019, MAR 10 2019, MAR 12 2019, and MAR 13 2019.
- Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake, 15.25 ounces, with UPC code 644209307494 and sell-by dates of MAR 9 2019, MAR 10 2019, MAR 12 2019, and MAR 13 2019.
- Duncan Hines Classic Butter Golden Cake, 15.25 ounces, with UPC code 644209307593 and sell-by dates of MAR 7 2019, MAR 8 2019, and MAR 9 2019.
- Duncan Hines Signature Confetti Cake 15.25, ounces, with UPC code 644209414550 and sell-by dates of MAR 12 2019 and MAR 13 2019