General Mills Flour E. Coli Recall – Once Again Flour at Center of E. coli Scare
General Mills is calling for 600,000 pounds of its own product to be thrown after one of its facilities tested positive for a strain of E. coli. The product in question is their Gold Medal Flour, specifically their “5-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour,” per the Star Tribune. This recall affects upwards of 120,000 distributed units of product.
The facility in question is based in Kansas City. General Mills announced that the presence of E. coli was found at this location in a public release on September 16. Luckily, the release comes before any sicknesses related to the flour have been reported, though it is now very important that distributors of the flour and consumers who have already purchased the flour are made aware of the situation.
General Mills believes that only products with the best by date of September 6, 2020 are to be affected by the E. coli detected at their facility. The specific strain of E. coli in question would be O26, a Shiga-toxin producing strain of the infectious bacteria. Shiga-toxin producing strains mainly affect the stomach of those they infect, causing symptoms like diarrhea that develops into bloody diarrhea, acute stomach pain, and dehydration. These symptoms can develop and worsen over a period of about sixteen days before more serious complication become possible, including some that when left untreated can cause kidney failure, seizures, coma, and eventually death. These more serious symptoms stem from a complication called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) that develops in about six percent of cases involving any Shiga-toxin producing strain of E. coli.
According to national E. coli lawyer Ron Simon, “consumers trying to stay healthy should check their cupboards for the product in question, and if suffering form a compromised immune system, should avoid this variety of Gold Medal flour until the FDA confirms that no additional General Mills products are implicated in this outbreak.”