Uncontrolled Mold Makes River Styx Mix

23 Jan

My sister forwarded the contents you will find below to me in an email.  Here’s what Snopes has to say on the subject:  “In April 2006, the experience of a 14-year-old who had eaten pancakes made from a mix that had gone moldy was described in the popular newspaper column Dear Abby.  The account has since been circulated widely on the Internet as scores of concerned homemakers ponder the safety of the pancake mix lurking in their larders.  There is truth in this tale.  Yet its inherent warning is overblown.  Only those who have allergies to mold are at risk, and even then, for the pancake mix to pose a hazard it has to contain mold spores, not just be over the hill.”




This has been checked by Snopes


A student at HBHS had pancakes this week and it almost became fatal. His Mom (registered nurse) made him pancakes, dropped him off at school and headed to play tennis. She never takes her cell phone on the court but did this time and her son called to say he was having trouble breathing. She told him to go to the nurse immediately and proceeded to call school and alert the nurse. The nurse called the paramedics and they were there in 3 minutes and worked on the boy all the way to the hospital. He came so close to dying.

Evidently this is more common then I ever knew. Check the expiration dates on packages like pancakes and cake mixes that have yeast which over time develop spores (mold) and can be fatal if ingested!

WARNING ABOUT Pancake Mix (and other boxed mixes) (maybe you already know this, I DID NOT!!) Talk about frightening.

Throw away ALL OUTDATED pancake mix you have in your home, PLEASE! If you don’t believe me, read this article and then follow the ‘Link’ below to SNOPES.

P. S. You might want to tell this to your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces and anyone else who keeps pancake mix in the cupboard.



DEAR ABBY:  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. Also, beware of outdated Bisquick, cake, brownie and cookie mixes.–SUE IN WYANTSKILL, NY

DEAR SUE:  Thank you for the warning.  I certainly was not aware that pancake mix could turn moldy and cause an allergic reaction in someone with an allergy to mold — but its logical.  I wonder if the same holds true for cake mix, brownie mix and cookie mix.  If so, then a warning should be placed on the box for people like me.

We hear so often about discarding prescription and over-the-counter medications after their expiration dates, but I don’t recall warnings about packaged items in the pantry.  Heads up, folks!

Thanks, Lil Kit!

4 Responses to “Uncontrolled Mold Makes River Styx Mix”

  1. Marvin the Martian January 24, 2009 at 10:26 PM #

    Wow, neat! I think I’ll bag up some in an envelope and mail it to some Congressmen. 😉

    • Faerie♥Kat January 25, 2009 at 4:19 PM #

      Return Address:

      Mars, the Red Planet
      Planet #4, Solar System
      Milky Way Galaxy
      c/o Virgo Supercluster

      Go for it!

      > [Original Message]

  2. Nicole January 25, 2009 at 2:32 AM #

    Wow that is scary I am going to tell my mom about this… she tends to save stuff and not throw it out… I will now check the pancake boxes in her pantry before I make some to eat, as my brothers and I have mold allergies. They really
    should put a warning on the label..


    P.S. I recently posted a new blog and would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

    • Faerie♥Kat January 25, 2009 at 4:11 PM #

      Hi Nicole

      Yes, they really should put this warning on the label; they put ridiculous
      warnings on other things (like “Do not place in dishwasher or dryer” on a
      clock radio!), but this they miss. For shame!



      > [Original Message]

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