July 9, 2020

General Mills E. coli Outbreak Includes Three Minnesota Cases

The General Mills E. coli outbreak includes three illnesses in Minnesota. Two adults and one child were sickened between January and March, according to a Minnesota Department of Health spokesman. All three have recovered.

One of the adults became ill in January, the other adult and the child were sickened in March. None of them required hospitalization.

The outbreak includes 38 people in 20 states who were sickened by E. coli O121 between December 21, 2015, and May 3, 2016. The Seattle Times reported this morning that two illnesses were reported in Washington state.

General Mills has issued a recall for 10 million pounds of flour sold under three brand names: Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature. Consumers who purchase these brands of flour should check recall information carefully as E. coli can cause serious illness and death.

Federal health authorities have not yet released detailed information about the outbreak. But General Mills has reported that during interviews with officials from the Centers for Disease Control an Prevention (CDC), some case patients reported making something homemade with flour at some point prior to becoming ill. Some reported using a General Mills brand of flour.

E. coli symptoms usually develop within two to five days of exposure but can appear within 24 hours or take as long as 10 days to develop.  They include stomach cramps and diarrhea, that is sometimes bloody. Sometimes these symptoms, which last about a week, are accompanied by a low-grade fever. Anyone who ate the recalled flour and developed theses symptoms should see a doctor.

Young children, seniors and those with compromised immunes systems are at greatest risk of infection and for associated complications such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which cause kidney failure and death.
General Mills E. coli Flour


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