A Scary Warning about Box Mixes in Your Pantry - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/30/08

A Scary Warning about Box Mixes in Your Pantry

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A scary email is circulating right now that might stir you to throw out half the boxes in your pantry. The headline reads "Warning about Pancake Mix." It tells the story of a 14-year old boy who had difficulty breathing and his lips turned blue after eating pancakes from an outdated pancake mix. But then it gets worse, describing the death of a 19-year old that died after eating that kind of breakfast.

The explanation of the quote is that mold forms in old pancake mix which can be toxic. It also says to beware of outdated cake, brownie and cookie mixes, and even Jell-o. It alleges that invisible mold could be growing in these mixes and it could be life-threatening if you eat that stuff beyond the expiration date.

NewsChannel 11 went to Dr. Suzanne Beck, an allergist to find out if outdated mixes means life-threatening, like the email suggests.

Dr. Beck responded, "More than likely, the problem is overrated. But, by the same token, the FDA puts expiration dates on products. So, as a physician, I have to say respect the expiration date because they're placed there for safety. Even in pharmaceutical products, we have expiration dates. The reason is the quality of the product can change over a period of time. So, I would say respect the expiration date, but don't panic. Having an allergic reaction to a preformed mold on a product would be very, very rare."

Dr. Beck says actually mold is all around us. A typical reaction is a runny nose, sneezing or maybe wheezing or even hives. Also, she says most of those box products are cooked anyway which would put another roadblock in front of that allergen. The bottom line is even though the warning from that scary email is over blown, expiration dates are there for a reason.

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