E. coli outbreak tied to General Mills flour; recall expanded


gold-medal-all-purpose5LBGeneral Mills has expanded its recall of Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour, and Signature Kitchens flour due a multistate outbreak of E. coli O121, including three cases in Washington state. The recall follows a newly reported illness that appears to have stemmed from the consumption of raw dough or batter linked to flour produced last fall.

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control warn consumers not to eat any raw products made with flour. E. coli O121 is eliminated by heat through baking, frying, sautéing or boiling products made with flour. All surfaces, hands and utensils should be properly cleaned after contact with flour or dough.

According to this story from our online news partner The Seattle Times, at least 42 people in 21 states, including Washington, have been sickened after eating the flour. Eleven people have been hospitalized. Illnesses occurred between Dec. 21, 2015, and June 8, 2016.

Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. E. coli O121 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Seniors, the very young, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

Anyone diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli O121 is also urged to contact state and local public health authorities.

The recall affects the retail flour products listed here. If you have any of the products on your shelves, they should be thrown away. Consumers with additional questions or requesting a replacement should contact the company at 800-230-8103.


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