General Mills has recently launched a wide recall of over 10 million pounds of flour due to a possible outbreak of E. coli in over 20 states. Now, they have announced the findings that this huge batch of flour was all produced at one of its processing plants in Kansas City, Missouri.
This recall covered several different varieties of the company’s flour brands, mainly, the “Signature Kitchens” brand, “Gold Medal Wondra” and the “Gold Medal” brand. These flours were sold at many nationwide supermarkets including Albertsons and Safeway.
According to a company spokeman, 38 people fell ill from the flour between mid December 2015 and May 2016. Analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that half of these people had used flour before they got sick, and among the flour they used was the brands from General Mills. Some of these people may have eaten raw batter or dough.
General Mills says that this particular E. coli strain has not been found in General Mills flour products, nor at the plant in Kansas City, MO. However, they are taking precautions to protect the general public just in case. This particular strain of bacteria causes symptoms such as diarrhea with blood, and dehydration.
Consumers should always be cautious when using flour. The wheat used to make flour is grown outdoors where bacteria can grow, and the end product is raw and needs to be cooked or baked before eaten. Cooking flour completely eliminates the risk of food poisoning from it, as the bacteria is completely destroyed during the heating process. For this reason, children should not be permitted to play with uncooked dough, even though the popular thing is to make your own “play-doh”, and raw dough or batter should never be eaten, as the risk of contamination from either the flour or the eggs is high.
If you have used flour, you should be sure to thoroughly wash the utensils you have used as well as the surfaces the flour was on to prevent your other foods from possibly getting contaminated with flour that has been exposed to bacteria that causes food poisoning such as E. coli.