Hazardous mold found in flour mix.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Anaphylaxis (Causes of)
Anaphylaxis (Care and treatment)
Anaphylaxis (Research)
Molds (Fungi) (Health aspects)
Penicillin (Complications and side effects)
Author: Klotter, Jule
Pub Date: 10/01/2009
Publication: Name: Townsend Letter Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group Audience: General; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 The Townsend Letter Group ISSN: 1940-5464
Issue: Date: Oct, 2009 Source Issue: 315
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Product: Product Code: 2834823 Penicillin Preparations NAICS Code: 325412 Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing SIC Code: 2833 Medicinals and botanicals; 2834 Pharmaceutical preparations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 211561646
Full Text: People who are allergic to molds and penicillin need to beware of using old pancake or cake mix--especially if it tastes "off." In 2001, a young man with a history of allergies to pets, molds, and penicillin died from anaphylaxis after eating two pancakes made from an opened box of mix. Friends refused to eat their share of the meal, complaining that the pancakes "tasted like 'rubbing alcohol.'" The pancake mix had been sitting in a kitchen cabinet for about two years. During that time, it had become a breeding ground for molds. The pancake mix contained Penicillium, Fusarium, Mucor, and Aspergillus, with "a total mold count of 700/g of mix," according to a report by two South Carolina pathologists. Those two pancakes contained an estimated mold count of 21 000.

A woman reported that her 14-year-old son with a history of allergies had breathing difficulty after eating pancakes that "tasted 'funny.'" The pancakes were made from an out-of-date mix. This time, however, the boy recovered.

Snopes.com, the website that tracks down the veracity of "urban myths," says that paper sacks or cardboard boxes (without an inner pouch) do not protect mixes from dampness. Molds love moisture. People with allergies to molds or penicillin need to be aware that out-of-date or opened flour mixes can be hazardous. If anything tastes "off" or "funny," don't eat it.

Bennett AT, Collins KA. An unusual case of anaphylaxis. Mold in pancake mix. Am J. Forensic Med Pathol. 2001 Sep; 22(3):292-295. Available at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11563743. Accessed July 7, 2009.

Mikkelson B. Flapjack flap. Available at: www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/pancake.asp. Accessed November 13, 2008.

briefed by Jule Klotter

jule@townsendletter.com
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