An E. coli outbreak that has sickened 38 people in 20 states has triggered a General Mills recall of 10 million pounds of flour, the company said in a statement on its website today.
Flours included in the recall were sold under the brand names Gold Medal flour, Wondra, and Signature Kitchens, which is sold at Albertsons, Jewel, Shaws, Vons, United, Randalls, and Acme stores. Consumers who have purchased these brands of flours should check recall information carefully. Those who have purchased these recalled items should not eat them as E.coli infections can cause serious illness and death. Look at the flour you have stored in your pantry to see if you have any of these recalled items. If you do, throw them away in a sealed container or return them to the store where you bought them for a full refund.
The recalled Wondra flour was sold in 13.5 ounce containers with UPC 000-16000-18980 number and Better if Used by Dates 25FEB2017 thru 30MAR2017.
The recalled Gold Medal All Purpose flour was sold in 2-pound packages with the UPC number 000-16000-10710 and Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC thru 03JUN2017KC; 5 pound bags with UPC number 000-16000-10610 and Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC thru 31MAY2017KC, 01JUN2017KC, 03JUN2017KC thru 05JUN2017KC, 11JUN2017KC thru 14JUN2017KC; 10 pound bags with UPC number 000-16000-10410 and Better if Used by Dates 02JUN2017KC,03JUN2017KC; and 10 pound Banded Packs with UPC number 000-16000-10410 and Better if Used by Dates 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC, 05JUN2017KC.
The recalled 5 pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour have the UPC number 000-16000-19610 and Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC, 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC.
And the recalled 2 pound bags of Gold Medal Self Rising Flour have the UPC number 000-16000-11710 and Better if Used by Dates 23AUG2016KC.
The recalled 5 pound bags of Signature Kitchens All Purpose Flour Enriched Bleached have the UPC number 000-21130-5300 and Better if Used by Dates BB MAY 28 2017.
The recalled 5 pound bags of Signature Kitchens Unbleached Flour All Purpose Enriched have the UPC number 000-21130-53022 and Better if Used by Dates BB MAY 27 2017.
So far, 38 people have been sickened with E. coli O121 illnesses in 20 states, associated with the consumption of these flours. Illnesses occurred between December 21, 2015, and May 3, 2016. Symptoms of an E. coli infection include abdominal cramps, mild fever, and diarrhea that can be bloody. Symptoms usually begin five to se days after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. Some people may become so ill with this infection that they develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication that can cause kidney failure and death.
Health officials have not found the outbreak strain in flour products that have been tested or in the flour manufacturing facility, according to the company. However, some of those sickened reported eating raw dough or batter made with the recalled flours before becoming ill. And about half of those sickened reported making something homemade with flour before they got sick; some used General Mills brand flour.
“As a leading provider of flour for 150 years, we felt it was important to not only recall the product and replace it for consumers if there was any doubt, but also to take this opportunity to remind our consumers how to safely handle flour,” said Liz Nordlie, president of General Mills Baking division.