December 3, 2022

Gold Medal Unbleached Flour Recalled For E. coli O26 Contamination

General Mills is recalling five pound bags of Gold Medal unbleached flour with a “better if used by” date of September 6, 2020  for possible E. coli O26 contamination. No “direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product” have been received to date. The pathogen was found during routine sampling.

Gold Medal Unbleached Flour Recalled For E. coli O26

The UPC number on the product is 016000 196100. Just this one date code of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour in five pound bags, 06SEP2020KC,  is recalled. All other types of Gold Medal flour are not affected by this recall.

Check your pantry to see if you have this flour. If so, throw it away in a sealed container in a secure garbage can with a tight fitting lid so other people and animals can’t access it. You can also take it back to the place of purchase for a refund. If you aren’t sure if you have this product because you have decanted the flour into another container, discard it. Clean the container in the dishwasher or with a mild bleach solution.

This is not the first time General Mills flour has been recalled for possible pathogens. And in 2016 there was an E. coli outbreak linked to General Mills flour that sickened 63 people in 24 states.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include a mild fever, nausea, vomiting, severe and painful stomach and abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody or watery. Most people get sick a few days up to a week after eating food contaminated with this pathogen.

This recall is a good reminder to handle flour carefully. It is a raw agriculture product and can be, and has been, contaminated with dangerous pathogens. Always clean your kitchen thoroughly after using raw flour. Clean the countertops, utensils, sink area, and your hands with hot soapy water after using flour.

In addition, never eat raw dough or batter that is made with raw flour. Recipes that call for flour to be used in uncooked foods should be avoided. Never use raw flour to make play dough for children. The only way to destroy E. coli bacteria is through baking, frying, sautéing, cooking, or boiling food.

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