Food manufacturers have been told that incorporating an uncooked ingredient into a ready-to-eat food that will not be cooked could pose a serious food safety risk.
The FDA’s warning comes after a recent multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium has was associated with the consumption of ‘cake batter’ ice cream sold only at Cold Stone Creamery stores, The flavor has been recalled by the company. To date, no other flavors of ice cream have been associated with the outbreak.
US food and drug officials have now confirmed that the sweet cream ice cream base in question was pasteurized and the dry cake mix that was added to the ice cream base was labeled ‘bake before use’ by the manufacturer.
This Cake Batter Ice Cream was prepared in food service establishments. The preparation involved adding a dry cake mix to a pasteurized sweet cream base and the combination did not undergo additional processing prior to freezing.
Dry cake mix is a product that has been designed to be rehydrated and then cooked. Dry cake mix should not be considered a ready-to-eat food because it has not been processed to ensure that pathogens have been destroyed or reduced in numbers to an acceptable level.
Ready-to-eat foods are typically processed to ensure that they are safe to consume without further cooking. Similar products, such as ‘cookie dough’ ice creams and ‘cake mix’ milk shakes, could also pose a serious food safety risk if they are prepared with ingredients that are intended to be cooked.