General Mills, Inc. has announced it is recalling about 10 million lbs of flour after an E. coli outbreak associated with flour sickened 38 people in 20 states between Dec. 21, 2015, and May 3, 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that approximately half of the individuals who said they became sick reported making homemade food with flour before becoming ill, including several who said they used a General Mills brand of flour.
In a May 31 statement, General Mills said the outbreak potentially may be linked to Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour, and Signature Kitchens flour (sold in Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Shaws, Vons, United, Randalls and Acme).
The company also said some of the ill people may have consumed raw dough or batter.
But General Mills also pointed out that it has not found any presence of E. coli O121 in any of its flour products or in the flour manufacturing facility, and the company has not been contacted directly by any consumer reporting confirmed illnesses related to the company’s products. Even so, the company said it felt it was best to initiate the recall out of an abundance of caution.
“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.
Specific product recall information can be found at www.generalmills.com/flour.