J.M. Smucker Recalls All-Purpose Flour for E. coli Contamination
General Mills has announced a voluntary nationwide recall for all five-pound bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached Flour with a better if used by date of April 20, 2020. According to news reports, the recall was issued Jan. 23 because salmonella was detected in the products during routine sampling. The company is urging consumers to check their pantries for the presence of these products. If you no longer have the packages, but have doubts about the flour in your pantry, discard it anyway.
If you save the product name, UPC (bar code) and “better if used by” date, you may be able to get a replacement coupon. If you have any questions about the recall or need a replacement coupon for a product included in this recall, call General Mills Consumer Relations at 1-800-230-8103. Consumers are reminded that the flour is not a “ready to eat” ingredient and must always be cooked. Do not eat or taste dough or batter made with raw flour. It is always a good idea to properly cook or bake food made with flour. It is not clear if any illnesses or fatalities have been reported as a result of these contaminated products.
Understanding the Dangers
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause symptoms such as severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea and fever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are 1.2 million cases of salmonella each year in the United States out of which about 450 are fatalities. People can contract a salmonella infection by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with the bacteria.
The most common products that are affected include beef, poultry, milk, fish or eggs. Cooking food kills the bacteria. Salmonella is also the leading cause of hospitalizations when it comes to food poisoning cases. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly working with General Mills to investigate this recall.
If You Have Been Sickened
If you or a loved one has been sickened by these recalled flour products, please understand that you have legal rights. It is important that you get prompt medical attention and report your illness to the local health care agency. You may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California food poisoning lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.