General Mills flour has been linked to an outbreak of E. coli O121 that has caused 38 illnesses across 20 different states. The company stated that federal and state health authorities actively investigated the E. coli O121 outbreak, which involves illnesses with onset dates from December 21, 2015 through May 3rd.
General Mills Announces Link to E. coli O121 Outbreak; Recalls Multiple Brands of Flour
The company itself announced that it is voluntarily recalling select lots of General Mills Gold Medal flour, the Golden Valley-based company’s signature product, in addition to Signature Kitchen and Wondra brand flour. Vons, Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Acme and Randalls grocery store chains all carry the Signature Kitchen brand.
The recall is being made “out of an abundance of caution,” General Mills states in its press release. “To date, E. coli O121 has not been found in any General Mills Flour products or in the flour manufacturing facility and the company has not been contacted directly by any consumer related to these products,” the release states.
The link to General Mills flour was found during the CDC attempts to track the cause of the cluster of E. coli cases. In the course of its investigation, about half of the people who became ill reported baking or cooking something homemade prior to becoming ill; some of those people reported using General Mills-brand flour.
According to a report in the Star Tribune, the flour involved in the recall was mostly produced at General Mills’ Kansas City plant.
President of General Mills’ baking division, Liz Nordlie, said that 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.”
The press release continued to remind consumers to wash their hands, all work surfaces, and utensils after they came into contact with raw dough, flower, or any other raw substances containing flower.
A list of the specific flour being recalled may be found here, and customers with any additional questions are urged to call the company at 1-800-230-8103.