- As of January 14, 2019, this outbreak appears to be over.
- On November 5, 2018, ConAgra Brands recalled four varieties of Duncan Hines cake mix after officials in Oregon identified Salmonella Agbeni in a box of Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix.
- CDC reviewed the PulseNet database and identified seven recent infections from five states with the same strain of Salmonella Agbeni as the Salmonella strain identified in the cake mix.
- There was not enough epidemiologic and traceback information available to determine if ill people in this outbreak were linked to contaminated cake mix produced by Duncan Hines.
- Do not bake with or eat recalled Duncan Hines cake mix, or eat cake prepared with recalled mix. Throw the mix away or return it to the store for a refund.
- Recalled products include 15.25 oz. boxes of Duncan Hines cake mix in Classic White, Classic Yellow Cake, Classic Butter Golden Cake, and Confetti Cake flavors, with various “best if used by” dates ranging from March 7 to 13, 2019.
- Check the FDA website for information to identify recalled mixes, including a list of “best if used by” dates for each flavor of recalled mix, and product photos.
- Contact a healthcare provider if you think you got sick from eating recalled cake mix.
- Retailers should not sell or serve recalled Duncan Hines cake mixes.
In general, CDC advises against eating any raw dough or batter, whether homemade or from a mix. Raw batter can contain germs that could make you sick.
- Most people infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
- The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
- In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonellainfection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
- In rare cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
- Children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.
- For more information, see the CDC Salmonella website.
January 14, 2019
CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Agbeni infections.
On November 5, 2018, ConAgra Brands recalled four varieties of Duncan Hines cake mix after health officials in Oregon identified Salmonella Agbeni in a box of Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix. CDC reviewed the PulseNet database and identified seven infections with the same strain of Salmonella Agbeni reported from five states. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. Whole genome sequencing (DNA fingerprinting) performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people in this outbreak showed that the bacteria were closely related genetically. This means that the ill people were more likely to share a common source of infection.
Illnesses started on dates from June 13, 2018, to October 5, 2018. Ill people ranged in age from 26 to 72 years, with a median age of 33. Seventy-one percent were female. No hospitalizations or deaths were reported.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Three ill people were interviewed. Two ill people reported eating cake in the week before their illness began and one reported eating raw cake mix, but brand information was not available. CDC worked with state health departments and FDA to collect more information, but the investigation was not able to determine if these ill people ate cake or raw cake mix produced by Duncan Hines.
Whole genome sequencing analysis did not identify predicted antibiotic resistance in six bacterial isolates: five isolates from ill people and one from food. One isolate from an ill person contained a gene for resistance to tetracycline. Antibiotic resistance testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System laboratory is underway.
As of January 14, 2019, this outbreak appears to be over. Sometimes outbreaks end before enough information is available to identify the likely source. Officials thoroughly investigate each outbreak, and they are continually working to develop new ways to investigate and solve outbreaks faster.