According to the Food and Drug Administration, General Mills is partnering with health officials to investigate a possible multistate E. coli outbreak in their flour products and flour manufacturing facility. Government authorities have been researching 38 cases across 20 states that may possibly be linked to the E. coli O121 outbreak between December 21, 2015, and May 3, 2016; about half of these individuals reported making something that involved flour at some point before becoming ill.
Although many strains of E. coli are harmless, contact with strains like E. coli O121 can lead to severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, dehydration and nausea/vomiting. Older adults, children and individuals with compromised immune systems are most at risk. To date, E. coli O121 has not been found in any General Mills products or at their flour manufacturing facility. General Mills has taken extreme precautions and voluntarily recalled more than 10 million pounds of flour while investigations continue.
The recalled flour was sold under the brand names Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchens, which are found in large grocery store chains Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Shaw’s, Vons, United, Randalls and Acme. Specific products in the recall include:
Specific Products in the Recall Include
- 13.5-ounce Gold Medal Wondra with “Better if Used by” dates: 25FEB2017 thru 30MAR2017
- 2-pound Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour with “Better if Used by” dates: 25MAY2017KC thru 03JUN2017KC
- 5-pound Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour with “Better if Used by” dates: 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC thru 31MAY2017KC, 01JUN2017KC, 03JUN2017KC thru 05JUN2017KC and 11JUN2017KC thru 14JUN2017KC
- 10-pound Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour with “Better if Used by” dates: 02JUN2017KC and 03JUN2017KC
- 10-pound Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour – Banded Pack with “Better if Used by” dates: 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC and 05JUN2017KC
- 5-pound Gold Medal Unbleached Flour with “Better if Used by” dates: 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC, 03JUN2017KC and 04JUN2017KC
- 5-pound Signature Kitchens All-Purpose Flour Enriched Bleached with “Better if Used by” date: BB MAY 28 2017
- 5-pound Signature Kitchens Unbleached Flour All-Purpose Enriched with “Better if Used by” date: BB MAY 27 2017
- 2-pound Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour with “Better if Used by” date: 23AUG2016KC
If you have flour from the listed brands, it’s recommended you throw away or return it to the grocer where you purchased it. Consumers with additional questions should contact the company on their online contact form or call 800-230-8103. Additional recall information can also be found at www.generalmills.com/flour.