General Mills is recalling about 600,000 pounds of its Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour for possible E. coli contamination. According to a USA Today news report, the voluntary recall is for bags with a “better if used by” date of Sept. 6, 2020. General Mills said in a statement that the recall is being issued for the potential presence of E. coli O26, which was discovered during a sampling of the five-pound bag product. General Mills says it has not received any direct reports of confirmed illnesses relating to this product and is issuing the recall out of an abundance of caution.
Consumers are being advised to check their pantries and dispose of the recalled products. There have been several other flour recalls this year related to the outbreak strain of E. coli O26, which according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infected 21 people in nine states. On July 19, the agency said the outbreak appeared to be over.
The other brands of recalled flour included Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour sold at Aldi, King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and some bags of Pillsbury Best Bread Flour. The CDC is warning the public against eating raw dough or any flour or raw eggs used to make batter. Even tasting a small amount of raw dough could make you sick. E. coli bacteria are killed by heat when food is baked, fried, sautéed or boiled.
E.coli and Flour
E.coli is a type of bacteria that could prove lethal in some cases. Some of the common symptoms of an E. coli infection include bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Individuals with a weak immune system are particularly at risk of suffering serious effects. Some strains are even more dangerous as they could lead to a condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS that could result in kidney failure and death.
According to food safety experts, cookie dough, pizza dough, cake and pancake batters pose a risk of bacterial infection. So, you should be careful not to eat them before they are cooked. It is important to remember that raw dough can make you sick even if you don’t eat it. For example, kneading bread dough often leaves you with floury hands, which could be a problem if the flour is contaminated. Even storing uncooked dough next to other food could pose a risk.
If You Have Been Affected
If you or a loved one has become sick as a result of these or other products, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses you have suffered. You may be able to file a food poisoning lawsuit against the manufacturer, retailer, restaurant that served the food and other potential parties. An experienced food poisoning lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.