So far, no illnesses have been linked to the recall.
Three varieties Aunt Jemima Pancake and Waffle Mix are affected: Original, Original Complete and Buttermilk Complete.
If you follow natural health guidelines and avoid processed foods, you’re probably not going to be affected by this recall because you already know a list of reasons why you wouldn’t want to use products like these in the first place.
First of all, pancakes are one of your worst breakfast options, which I explained last week in A Good Reason Not to Skip Breakfast. And this kind of processed, ready-made batter mix is even worse than making your batter from scratch (which is about as easy as it gets anyway!). It’s filled with bleached, processed flour, sugar, and synthetic “nutrient” additives that can do nothing but increase your risk of health problems.
What is Salmonella, and How Concerned Should You Be?
Salmonella, which was discovered in 1887 by American veterinarian Daniel Elmer Salmon, is a large genus of bacteria with more than 2,000 strains.
Some strains, such as typhoid (S. typhi), only affect humans, while others strictly affect birds (S. pullorum and S. gallinarum) or rodents.
It’s a food borne illness that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. In cases of severe illness, you may need to be treated with antibiotics. However, some salmonella bacteria have become resistant to many commonly used antibiotics.
If you’re otherwise healthy and become infected with salmonella the results will be less severe, but you may still experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain within 12 to 72 hours of infection.
Salmonella poisoning frequently also causes gastroenteritis, an irritation at the gut wall that can lead to loose stools and flu-like symptoms. Some cases are mild and might even go unnoticed while others may, in rare cases, be deadly if the infection spreads from the intestines to your blood stream.
Additionally, a small number of infected people go on to develop joint pain, eye irritation and painful urination -- a condition called Reiter's Syndrome. It can last for months or even years, and can sometimes lead to chronic arthritis.
Still, the concern over salmonella has been blown a bit out of proportion.
From 1985 to 1998 there were 79 deaths associated with the S. enteritidis "epidemic.” That equates to about five deaths per year, which is one-tenth the number of U.S. deaths caused by lightening strikes each year.
So as long as you keep your immune system in good working order, your risk of coming down with a deadly case of salmonella poisoning is slim.
How To Avoid Salmonella Poisoning
When trying to prevent food-borne illnesses like salmonella, it is important to exercise common sense when choosing food sources, but even more important to take common sense precautions during the preparation of your food.
Some salmonella prevention basics include:
- Cook raw poultry and meat to proper temperatures
- Keep your kitchen clean, since it’s one of the most germ infested areas of your home
- Wash your hands frequently, using plain soap and water
- In restaurants, send uncooked meat back to the kitchen
- Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables
- Breast-feed your children
Many claim that you should never consume unpasteurized milk or raw eggs due to a greater risk of salmonella and other dangerous bacterial contaminations.
Don’t believe a word of it.
This is simply misguided advice, as raw milk is in fact FAR LESS likely to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria; something I explained in greater detail in the articles Does Tainted Milk Cause Crohn's Disease? and Will Raw Milk Soon Be Banned in California?
And when it comes to eggs, it’s all about what kinds of eggs you buy. Commercially produced grocery store eggs are far more likely to be contaminated than organic, free-range eggs.
If you do come down with a salmonella infection, high doses of an effective probiotic will frequently be able to neutralize the infection and speed up your recovery.