This April 2006 letter to Dear Abby is circulated on the Internet. Snopes.com verifies that it’s true:
“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 We checked the date on the box of pancake mix and, to my dismay, found it was very outdated.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just that, and found an article the next day that mentioned a 19-year-old male DYING after eating pancakes made with outdated mix.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.”
Sue from Wyantskill, NY
While this incident may be true and it’s been documented to have happened in other cases, it’s also very rare. Although you might not want to have your family consume products that have passed their freshness date, most people do not have an allergy to molds. A person must have an anaphylaxis reaction to the molds (mold allergy) in outdated processed mixes (like pancake, Bisquick, cake, brownie and cookie) in order for a reaction.
Then again if your goal is to feed your family the most nutritious foods, you’ll want to make your own pancakes…from scratch. Nonna’s Favorite Pancakes are a snap to make! It doesn’t take any more time to make pancakes from scratch, than the boxed variety. What’s nice is that it’s less expensive and better for you. And even picky eaters will love them, especially if they’ve helped you in the process. You’ll also find the recipe in my book, Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, in the recipe section on this site, and on my podcast.
Click HERE for the Book.
Click Here for the Podcast.
Click Here for my pancake Recipe.