Yesterday, General Mills announced a voluntary recall of 10 million pounds of flour after 38 people in 20 U.S. states fell ill due to Eschericia coli.
Oddly, the E. coli O121 strain has not been detected in any of General Mills’ three flour brands--Gold Medal Wondra or Signature Kitchens, nor has it been found in the company’s manufacturing plant.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about half of the E. coli victims said they had cooked with flour just before getting sick, and half of them said they had used a General Mills brand of flour. It is believed that some of the sickened individuals may have consumed raw dough or batter--a habit that is strongly discouraged by CDC.
The outbreak lasted from December 2015 to May 2016.
General Mills says, “Flour is an ingredient that comes from milling wheat, something grown outdoors that carries with it risks of bacteria, which are rendered harmless by baking, frying or boiling,”
The brand is cooperating with health officials to investigate the outbreak.