General Mills has expanded a voluntary recall of more than 10 million pounds of flour due to a possible link with an E. coli outbreak that has sickened dozens of people in 20 states.
The recall affects select bags of Gold Medal bleached and unbleached flour, bleached and unbleached Signature Kitchen flour, Gold Medal self-rising flour, and Gold Medal Wondra quick-mixing flour.
“State and federal authorities have been researching 38 occurrences of illnesses across 20 states related to a specific type of E. coli (E. coli O121), between December 21, 2015, and May 3, 2016,” General Mills wrote in a statement. “While attempting to track the cause of the illness, CDC found that approximately half of the individuals reported making something homemade with flour at some point prior to becoming ill. Some reported using a General Mills brand of flour.”
This recall is being issued as a precaution. To date, E. coli O121 has not been found in any General Mills flour products or flour manufacturing facilities and no illnesses linked to the products have been confirmed.
E. coli is a bacteria that normally lives in the intestines of people and animals. However, some forms of E. coli can cause intestinal infection.
Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. More severe cases can lead to bloody diarrhea, dehydration, or even kidney failure. People with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, young children, and older adults are at increased risk for developing these complications.
Recalled varieties carried by the Co-op include:
- Gold Medal All Purpose Flour, UPC 00016000107106, 2 lb
- Gold Medal All Purpose Flour, UPC 00016000106109, 5 lb.
- Gold Medal Unbleached Flour, UPC 00016000196100 and 0001600019610,
- Gold Medal Wondra Shaker, UPC 00016000189805 and 0001600018980, 13.5 oz.
A full list of the recalled flours is listed on the General Mills website.
If you have purchased a recalled product from the Co-op, please return it for a refund.