If you just bought cake mix for holiday baking, there's something you should know. This month Conagra Foods voluntarily recalled four types of Duncan Hines Cake mix because there was a concern they might be contaminated with salmonella. More than 2.4 million boxes of cake mix in some of their most popular flavor could contain a bacteria that might make you sick.

What Cake Mixes Are Affected?

All the cake mixes affected were sold in the United States. They're all the 15.25-ounce size in the following flavors:

  • Duncan Hines Classic White Cake
  • Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake
  • Duncan Hines Classic Butter Golden Cake
  • Duncan Hines Signature Confetti Cake

At least five people in three states got sick, prompting a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigation. Experts discovered the outbreak strain in a box of Duncan Hines Classic White. The people who got sick reported eating cake mix at some point before they started experiencing symptoms.

How To Check Your Pantry

If you have cakes in those flavors, check the "Best if Used by" dates located on the box top. All the recalled mixes are marked for March 7-13, 2019. If your mix has that date range, look for one of these UPC codes:

  • 644209307500
  • 644209307494
  • 644209414550
  • 644209307593

If you discover any of the recalled boxes, you can either throw them away in their sealed packaging or take them back to the store from which you purchased them for a full refund.

What Happens if You Consume Salmonella

The CDC estimates the bacteria cause more than 1.2 million illnesses every year. Most people who become infected start having diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramping within a day of ingesting salmonella. They usually recover without treatment but could be sick for up to a week.

Sometimes the diarrhea is so intense patients require hospitalization. If the infection spreads from the intestines to other systems it can lead to death. Children, the elderly and people with struggling immune systems are more likely to develop a severe infection.

After a salmonella infection, some people develop reactive arthritis that lasts for months or years. Eventually, the joint swelling may become chronic arthritis.

Individuals should always avoid eating raw cake mix, even if the mix isn't included in the recall. The batter contains eggs and other ingredients that have a risk of bacterial contamination until they've been cooked.