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This Pantry Staple Caused an E. Coli Outbreak, CDC Says

Americans are being warned not to eat raw cake batter.
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese

Americans have been warned not to eat raw cake batter as officials probe a multistate outbreak of E. coli that has been linked to cake mix.

According to an investigation notice posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 16 people in 12 states have reported being infected with the same strain of E. coli between Feb. 26 and June 21, 2021.

The ongoing probe has revealed that six of the individuals reported "tasting or eating raw cake batter made from a variety of cake mixes." As of yet, no individual brand has been linked to the outbreak.

Related: The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now

cake pancake mixed by mixer

The sick individuals were all women, who ranged in age from two to 73 years old, with a median age of 13. Seven people were subsequently hospitalized, and one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

The CDC suggests that the number of illnesses in this outbreak may be much higher than the number of cases reported thus far. Thankfully, no deaths have been reported at this time.

"This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli," the agency says in the investigation notice. "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."

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include dehydration, diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. If you believe you are experiencing any possible symptoms, call a doctor immediately.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda
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