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Cake Mix Ecoli Outbreak

Posted in Our Blog on July 29, 2021

The CDC and FDA have found the link to one of the mystery Ecoli outbreaks – cake mix! Here’s what we know about this Cake Mix Ecoli Outbreak:

Cake Mix Ecoli Outbreak

As of July 27, 2021, 16 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O121 have been reported from 12 states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 26, 2021 to June 21, 2021 (see timeline).

Sick people range in age from 2 to 73 years, with a median age of 13, and 100% are female. Of 16 people with information available, 7 have been hospitalized. One person has developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths have been reported.

The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.

State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the eight people interviewed, six (75%) reported tasting or eating raw batter made with a cake mix. People reported buying different varieties and brands of cake mix.

What You Should Do in this Cake Mix Ecoli Outbreak

Sick people in this outbreak reported tasting or eating raw cake batter made from a variety of cake mixes. A single brand or type of cake mix has not been linked to the illnesses.

Seventy-five percent of sick people are children under the age of 18. Children 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 like E. coli. Germs are killed only when raw batter is baked or cooked. Follow safe food handling practices when you are 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.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these severe E. coli symptoms:

  • 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

What is E. coli?

E. coli consists of a diverse group of bacteria, most of which normally live in the intestines of people and animals and are not only harmless, but in fact an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. Unfortunately, some of the bacteria are pathogenic and can cause diarrhea or illness outside of the intestinal tract. These types of E. coli are generally transmitted through contact with contaminated water, food, or via contact with infected animals or people.

Most people who become infected with E. coli start to notice symptoms 3 to 4 days after eating or drinking something containing the bacteria. Although, there have been cases reported anywhere from 1 to 10 days after exposure. In general symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some people may experience fever. Most infections are very mild and the infected person recovers within 5 to 7 days. However, some cases do become severe or even life-threatening.

About 5-10% of people develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS develops about 7 days after symptoms first appear, when diarrhea is improving. Clues that someone is developing HUS include decreased frequency of urination, feeling very tired, and losing pink color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. People with HUS should be hospitalized because their kidneys may stop working and they may develop other serious problems. Most people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent damage or die. You should contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days or diarrhea that is accompanied by a fever higher than 102˚F, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.

The Concerns for Children and Other High Risk Individuals with Ecoli Infections

Ecoli infections can affect anyone, regardless of age, health status, or geographic location. Those who are high risk usually have more severe infections. Of those in the highest risk group, children are among those who are most at risk to develop Ecoli infections with severe symptoms and complications.

How The Lange Law Firm Can Help

Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by contaminated food or water.  When corporations cause Ecoli food poisoning outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable.  The Lange Law Firm is one of the only law firms in the nation focused on representing families in food poisoning lawsuits.

If you got sick from eating cake mix with Ecoli and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, we can help. We want you to know that an E coli Lawyer at the Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently investigating this matter and offering free legal consultations.

Our lawyer, Jory Lange became a lawyer to help make our communities and families safer. Anyone who was infected with E coli contaminated cake mix may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.  To learn more about the Cake Mix Ecoli Outbreak or making an E coli food poisoning claim, please contact the Lange Law Firm, PLLC by phone or contact us online.