By Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY
General Mills is recalling about 600,000 pounds – or about 120,000 five-pound bags – of its Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour for possible E. coli contamination.
The voluntary recall is for bags with a “better if used by” date of September 6, 2020, according to a notice on the Food and Drug Administration website. The UPC is 000-16000-19610-0.
“The recall is being issued for the potential presence of E. coli O26 which was discovered during sampling of the five-pound bag product,” General Mills said in a statement Monday. “This recall is being issued out of an abundance of care as General Mills has not received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product.”
No other types of Gold Medal Flour are affected by the recall.
General Mills is asking consumers “to check their pantries and dispose of the product affected by this recall.” Those who dispose of products should contact General Mills Consumer Relations at 1-800-230-8103 and can learn more at www.generalmills.com/flour.
E. coli infections typically occur three to four days after consuming the bacteria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting can result after five to seven days. In severe cases, patients may get hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
There have been several other flour recalls this year related to the outbreak strain of E. coli O26, which according to the CDC, infected 21 people in nine states. On July 19, the agency said the outbreak appeared to be over.
The CDC warns against eating raw dough. Any flour or raw eggs use to make raw dough or batter might be contaminated and even tasting a small amount of raw dough could make you sick.
According to the CDC and FDA, E. coli is killed by heat through baking, frying, sautéing or boiling products made with flour.