August 25, 2019

Raw Flour Can Be a Health Hazard Just Like Raw Meat

Most people don't know that raw flour can be a health hazard just like raw meat. In 2009, a multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to raw Nestle cookie dough sickened at least 77 people in 30 states. Since pasteurized eggs were used to make that product, the flour was singled out as a possible culprit after months of investigation. The other ingredients used to make the cookie dough, including molasses, sugar, baking soda, chocolate, vanilla, and margarine, underwent pathogen kill steps during processing and were considered less likely sources of contamination in a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2011. Investigators never found E. coli bacteria at the plant that produced the cookie dough, or at the flour mills that supplied the flour for the product. No conclusive … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak Triggers General Mills Recall of 10 Million Pounds of Flour

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 … [Read more...]

Raw Flour Can Cause Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

Most savvy cooks know that raw eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish should be handled with care because they most likely contain pathogenic bacteria. So they wash their hands after handling these products, take care to avoid cross-contamination, and sanitize surfaces after cooking. Cooking those foods to a safe final internal temperature will kill the pathogenic bacteria. But did you know that uncooked flour can also be contaminated with pathogens? A study published in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease found that a cluster of Salmonella cases occurred in New Zealand in October 2008 linked to wheat-based poultry feed raw material. And raw flour caused an E. coli outbreak in the U.S. in 2009 that sickened 77 people in 30 states. In that case, the flour was in raw refrigerated, … [Read more...]

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