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Monday, June 30, 2008

Beware If You Have Mold Allergies

If you know you have mold allergies, Throw away outdated pancake mix and other box mixes that you might have in your home.

Below is a letter to Dear Abby regarding this subject:

I recently made a batch of pancakes for my healthy 14-year-old son, using a mix that was in our pantry. He said that they tasted 'funny,' but ate them anyway. About 10 minutes later, he began having difficulty breathing and his lips began turning purple. I gave him his allergy pill, had him sit on the sofa and told him to relax. He was wheezing while inhaling and exhaling.

My husband, a volunteer Firefighter and EMT, heated up some water, and we had my son lean over the water so the steam could clear his chest and sinuses. Soon, his breathing became more regular and his lips returned to a more normal color. We checked the date on the box of pancake mix and, to my dismay, found it was very outdated As a reference librarian at an academic institution, I have the ability to search through many research databases. I did just that, and found an article the next day that mentioned a 19-year-old male DYING after eating pancakes made with outdated mix. Apparently, the mold that forms in old pancake mix can be toxic!

When we told our friends about my son's close call, we were surprised at the number of people who mentioned that they should check their own pancake mix since they don't use it often, or they had purchased it some time ago. With so many people shopping at warehouse-type stores and buying large sizes of pancake mix, I hope your readers will take the time to check the expiration date on their boxes.

***

According to Snopes the 19 yr old mentioned in the above letter, passed away from anaphylaxis due to an allergic reaction to mold. Anaphylaxis is a immunologic reaction that occurs when someone that has allergies comes in contact with a substance they are allergic to. It causes fatal respiratory or cardiac arrest.

Box mixes that are sold in cardboard boxes, paper sacks or unpouched are likely to be at risk to form mold. If you know you have mold allergies, check the expiration date on all box mixes. Throw them out if they have expired! Your life is worth more than a $1.50 box mix.

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