Great, Now Even Flour Can Carry E. Coli

Remember that frozen cookie dough that was making everyone sick? Well, apparently the e. coli might have been in the flour. Yes, the flour.

Food Safety News says that Nestle “put five laboratories to work to find E. coli O157:H7 in flour. It took 30 samples from each of 1,074 lots for a total of 32,220 batches that were all put to the test.”

It found that if you test enough flour, you can find some contaminated with e. coli. This usually wouldn’t be a big deal, because any pathogens in flour will be killed by baking, frying or boiling… until you realize that some people eat raw frozen pizzas.

“We actually had somebody in the company who admitted to doing this,” said an employee of ConAgra.

Seriously? Raw frozen pizzas? Raw cookie dough, yes, OK I understand that. But raw frozen pizzas? Really? That can’t be good…. can it?

Flour Investigated as E. coli Source[Food Safety News via Consumers Union]


Edit Your Comment

  1. rahntwo says:

    I make all my own e-coli at home.

  2. brotheryang says:

    Some of us are just to busy to cook food. we need it raw. How dare a company ask us to cook something to make sure we kill all the bacteria. On a side note i did it once as a kid and it was …… Horrible it was really mushy and tasteless. But to each his own i suppose.

  3. Paladin_11 says:

    That warning you see on the box… yeah, it pretty much had to be put there because someone actually ate it raw and then complained. Or sued. Coming soon: A warning that cooked frozen pizza is extremely hot, please enjoy with caution.

  4. rpm773 says:

    Rat shit or bird shit, possibly getting into the pre-milled grain? Or infesting the flour thereafter?

  5. smo0 says:

    ConAgra…. all I can think of is Food Inc, f*ck the fact that anyone eats raw pizza or not…. that corporation is da DEBBIL!

  6. ConsumerPop says:

    How sad must your life be that you’re eating raw frozen pizza? I think to picture them not even bothering to thaw it out.

  7. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Question for everyone: What do you think the safest food item (in regards to foodborne illness ONLY) is to buy at the store (not grown at home or from a local organic whatever)?

    I have extreme emetophobia and when I was younger, I actually didn’t eat anything but slices of bread for 6 months in fear of food poisoning. But now it’s kinda coming back – probably because of these articles that I see constantly.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      Mayonnaise. The myth of it causing food poisoning has been debunked and it may actually prevent some spoilage.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        Interesting. I think if I ate mayonnaise, my boyfriend might vomit, though.

        • jasonq says:

          That isn’t some kinda euphemism, is it? I know a lot of women who, if they ate “mayonnaise,” would have some *very* happy boyfriends/husbands.

          (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

    • trentblase says:

      Vodka. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, baby!

      • Megalomania says:

        Alcohol does, but an 80 proof vodka will only have a tad less than 3 calories per gram. To get 2,000 calories, you’d need to have a little less than a fifth (750 mL) per day. Not to mention everything you’d be lacking in terms of nutrition. You’d also have to space that over the whole day or risk alcohol poisoning.

    • Lisa34 says:

      My two cents:
      1. Wash your fruits and veggies. I don’t buy a special wash but I’ve seen it at the stores.
      2. I usually don’t buy any ground beef because that is where the big E. Coli risk is.
      3. Keep your cooked food hot or cold. I know since being a mother I am really bad about this because I postpone my own meal. I eat a lot of lukewarm’ish meals – not good!
      4. Just my personal experience – I’ve gotten sick several times from lunchmeat (packaged or from the deli) and canned meal type of foods like beef stew. Not life threatening but a bad stomach bug. I’ve never gotten sick from canned pineapples or peaches though. I know they recommend those type of canned meals (ravioli, spagettios) for kids in hospitals because they are processed and heated maybe they are safer than other foods but I’ve gotten sick from them.
      5. If you can bring a cooler with ice in it during the summer months when you go shopping.
      6. Every six months buy a small bleach bottle and keep a spray bottle 1:10 bleach water solution and spray down every surface after cooking meat.
      7. Sam’s club seems to have the best cold milk – I’ve gotten sick from the milk at other stores at times. I buy our butter and milk from there.
      8. With food borne illnesses the big risk is to young children, elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Many times these deaths are in nursing homes.
      9. If you eat at a buffet you can request your foods be brought from the kitchen – I’ve seen people with transplants that take immune supressing medications ask for that before.
      HTH :)

  8. Clyde Barrow says:

    Mom was right. You can get worms eating raw dough.

    • "I Like Potatoes" says:

      I grew up thinking that raw dough (or cake batter, etc…) would instantly kill if eaten. To this day, I won’t do it. I’ve even instilled that fear into my own children. Ah…the joys of being a parent.

  9. Tim says:

    Don’t tell me how I can and can’t eat my food!

  10. brinks says:

    I tend to burn anything I try to cook. Just an extra measure to kill germs, right?

  11. sirwired says:

    In milled grain products there is an FDA-sanctioned limit for the rat feces content. Before you call your congressman, consider that keeping 100.000% of the rat population out of the world grain supply is simply impossible. E.coli lives in rat feces. Fact of life.

    But yes, since flour is virtually never eaten raw, it’s pretty much not an actual problem, unless you are a moron.

  12. RvLeshrac says:

    Used to work with a guy who ate raw hamburger. Never understood that one.

  13. Forty2 says:

    Sorry, nothing in that freezer could be called “food”. Garbage, yes; nutrition, no.

  14. dg says:

    The companies know that people are going to eat cookie dough raw, so why not just irradiate the flour prior to using it?

    I’ve been eating raw cookie dough for decades… have never gotten anything other than a bad stomachache from eating too much of it, or it could have been a minor case of salmonella :-)

    The way I figure it, if the disease is as prevalent as claimed, it’s probably low-level and a lifetime of exposure has probably made me immune…

    At least that’s what I’m going with as I sit with a stick of cookie dough and a spoon…. yeah, that’s it…

  15. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I eat frozen Eggo waffles O_o… is that weird?

  16. Lisa34 says:

    I don’t trust Nestle and boycott every single line they have. They have no morals when it comes to marketing formula in third world country hospitals where women don’t have clean water!!! There is a good book called The Politics of Breastfeeding that exposes some of their practices. I don’t trust any product from them. I refuse to buy their water even though it’s less expensive!

    I could see how this can happen though. Wheat grows in fields and can be contimated like anything else, it is not obviously not heated except for the milling process into flour. Isn’t organic wheat is fertilized with manure?