14-year-old boy who had a scary experience with old pancake mix-Unproven! But Could be True!

Fourteen-Year-Old Who Had an Allergic Reaction to Old Pan Cake Mix-Unproven! But Could Be True!


Summary of eRumor:

A message with what the email says is a Dear Abby column.  It tells the story of a 14-year-old boy who had a severe reaction to what his mother determined to be pancakes made from an old mix.  The mother found a case on the Internet of a 19-year-old who died after eating out-of-date pancake mix.

The Truth:

This Dear Abby article was published in newspapers in April, 2006.  There’s no indication that Jeanne Phillips, who writes Dear Abby, authenticated the story, but if it is true, it may be describing an allergic reaction such as to mold, which could have developed in the pancake mix.  If so, it’s not a condition uniquely associated with pancake mixes but one that could develop in many foods and does not normally affect healthy people, only those with severe allergic reactions to various kinds of molds.

The woman in the article refers to a 19-year-old who died from eating pancakes from an outdated mix. That is probably in reference to a report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Forensic Section Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.  It tells of an anaphylactic reaction in a 19-year-old who was known to have allergic reactions to a variety of substances.  He and his friends ate some pancakes made from a mix that had been opened and sitting on a shelf for approximately 2 years.  Two of the friends stopped eating the pancakes because they didn’t like the taste.  The 19-year-old continued eating, started experiencing shortness of breath, and later died at a nearby clinic.

Last updated 5/11/06