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Recall of the Week: General Mills flour due to E. coli contamination

UCM504238General Mills is recalling about 10 million pounds of flour due to possible E. coli contamination.

The recall includes Gold Medal bleached and unbleached flour, Gold Medal Wondra quick-mixing flour, and Signature Kitchens bleached and unbleached flour sold at Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Shaws, Vons, United, Randalls, and Acme.

State and federal authorities are researching 38 cases of illnesses in 20 states related to E. coli O121 between Dec. 21 and May 3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about half of the people reported making something homemade with flour before becoming ill. Some reported using a General Mills flour.

Raw dough or batter may have eaten by some of the ill consumers.

So far, E. coli O121 hasn’t been found in any General Mills flour products or in the flour manufacturing facility, and the company hasn’t been contacted directly by any consumer reporting confirmed illnesses related to these products, the company said.

“As a leading provider of flour for 150 years, we felt it was important to not only recall the product and replace it for consumers if there was any doubt, but also to take this opportunity to remind our consumers how to safely handle flour,” said Liz Nordlie, president of General Mills Baking division.

Consumers shouldn’t eat any raw products made with flour. Flour comes from wheat, which is grown outdoors and then milled. It can carry bacteria that are killed by baking, frying, or boiling.

Consumers should wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils after contact with raw dough products or flour and never eat raw dough or batter.

Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. E. coli O121 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Seniors, babies, and people with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician. Anyone diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli O121 is urged to contact state and local public health authorities.

The recall affects the following retail flour products that could be currently in stores or in consumers’ cupboards. It includes six SKUs – stock keeping units or UPC codes – of Gold Medal Flour, two SKU’s of Signature Kitchens Flour, and one SKU of Gold Medal Wondra flour.

If you have any of the products listed below, they should be thrown away.

Consumers with questions or who want a replacement should contact the company at 800-230-8103. Additional recall information can be found at www.generalmills.com/flour.

Products in the recall include:

13.5 ounce Gold Medal Wondra Flour

Package UPC

000-16000-18980

Recalled Better if Used by Dates

25FEB2017 thru 30MAR2017

2 lb. Gold Medal All Purpose Flour

Package UPC

000-16000-10710

Recalled Better if Used by Dates

25MAY2017KC thru 03JUN2017KC

2lb Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour

Package UPC

000-16000-11710

Recalled Better if Used by Dates

23AUG2016KC

10lb Gold Medal All Purpose Flour

Package UPC

000-16000-10410

Recalled Better if Used by Dates

02JUN2017KC,  03JUN2017KC

5lb Gold Medal All Purpose Flour

Package UPC

000-16000-10610

Recalled Better if Used by Dates

25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC thru 31MAY2017KC, 01JUN2017KC, 03JUN2017KC thru 05JUN2017KC, 11JUN2017KC thru 14JUN2017KC

5lb Gold Medal Unbleached Flour

Package UPC

000-16000-19610

Recalled Better if Used by Dates

25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC, 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC

10lb Gold Medal All Purpose Flour- Banded Pack

Package UPC

000-16000-10410

Recalled Better if Used by Dates

03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC, 05JUN2017KC

5lb Signature Kitchens All Purpose Flour Enriched Bleached

Package UPC

000-21130-53001

Recalled Better if Used by Dates

BB MAY 28 2017

5lb Signature Kitchens Unbleached Flour All Purpose Enriched

Package UPC

000-21130-53022

Recalled Better if Used by Dates

BB MAY 27 2017

Copyright 2016, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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