General Mills Issues Flour Recall in Wake of E. coli Outbreak


General Mills has issued a recall on flour products due to an E. coli outbreak. (Photo by Melissa Wiese, Flickr)

An ongoing investigation into a multi-state E. coli O121 outbreak has led General Mills to issue a voluntary recall on 10 million pounds of flour. Products currently in your pantry could be at risk!

According to a press release issued by General Mills on Tuesday, May 31, the outbreak could potentially be linked to the company’s Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour, and Signature Kitchens flour (which is sold in Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Shaws, Vons, United, Randalls, and Acme).

Although the outbreak hasn’t officially been connected to General Mills products, the CDC discovered while investigating 38 occurrences of illnesses in 20 states that approximately half those who became ill had made something homemade with flour prior to getting sick. Some of those individuals used General Mills flour products. See the map below to see which states have been affected so far.

Also, some affected consumers mentioned that they had eaten raw dough prior to getting sick. According to the CDC’s Karen Neil, MD, MSPH, people should never eat raw dough. “Flour doesn’t go through specific processes to kill pathogens,” she told WebMD in 2011. The risk of bacteria is rendered harmless when flour is baked, fried or boiled.

Although E. coli is usually harmless, the O121 strain can be potentially deadly and results in bloody diarrhea and dehydration. If you get sick, consult a physician. And if you are diagnosed with E. coli O121, please contact state and local public health authorities immediately.

If you have questions about the recall, contact General Mills by phone at (800) 230-8103 or click here to submit an email to consumer relations.

E coli O121 outbreak map

The shaded areas show which states have been affected by the E. coli O121 outbreak. (Map credit CDC)

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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