September 17, 2019 — General Mills recalled 5-pound bags of Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour with “best by” dates of September 6, 2020 due to a risk of E. coli.
General Mills recalled the flour after a bag tested positive for contamination with E. coli O26, a strain that can cause severe and sometimes deadly food poisoning.
The recalled flour is not linked to any confirmed illnesses, but infections with E. coli O26 can cause severe diarrhea (often bloody), dehydration, Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), or death.
This is not the first time Gold Medal flour has been recalled due to E. coli. In 2016, the product was linked to an outbreak that sickened at least 63 people in 22 states, according to the CDC.
In 2019, several other brands of flour were recalled due to a risk of E. coli. Those products include Pillsbury Best® Bread Flour, King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, and Baker’s Corner® All-Purpose Flour.
Flour is a raw ingredient that is not heat-treated to kill bacteria before it is packaged and sold to consumers.
Consumers can kill E. coli in flour by baking, frying, sautéing or boiling. Health officials warn against eating batter, uncooked cookie dough, or raw flour products.
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