July 26, 2016 — General Mills has expanded a recall for flour that may be contaminated with E. coli to include more production dates after four new illnesses were reported.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 46 people have been sickened in 21 states, with 13 hospitalizations. Illnesses that occurred in July may not be reported yet.
The expanded recall includes Signature Kitchens, Gold Medal, and Wondra flour produced through February 10. The recall was initiated in May and expanded in July.
The recall includes all-purpose flours with “Best-By” dates ranging from February-August 2017 and self-rising flours with “Best-By” dates from August-October 2016. Click here for a list of recalled flours.
The CDC said another strain of E. coli has been found in a sample of General Mills flour — Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC O26). The flour has also tested positive for STEC O121.
One victim developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. It occurs when damaged red blood cells clog the kidneys. It often develops in children who have had 5-10 days of diarrhea.
The CDC says consumers, restaurants, and retailers should never eat raw dough, batter, or flour, whether made from the recalled products or not. Flour is grown outdoors and is not heat-treated before it is packaged and sold, which means there is no “kill-step” to destroy disease-causing bacteria like E. coli.
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