While you might associate infection with E. coli bacteria with meat and sometimes fresh vegetables, the bacteria can turn up in some unexpected places. Like flour. Yes, investigators checking out a multi-state E. coli outbreak have potentially linked it to flour from General Mills sold under its own labels and store brands.
So far, the outbreak includes 38 people in 20 states. Authorities made the possible link to General Mills flour products when about half of the patients remembered baking something from scratch before showing symptoms, and some of them in turn remembered that they used General Mills flour products.
While the link isn’t definitive and tests haven’t actually turned up any of the bacteria in flour, the company is recalling some products “out of an abundance of caution,” as companies always say.
E. coli lives in a variety of places, but the O121 variety lives inside the intestines of mammals, meaning that poop came in contact with the flour somehow. Flour, of course, comes from wheat, which is a plant, which is grown outside, and this is why you’re supposed to bake things before eating them.
People with long memories and a love of gobbling raw chocolate chip dough might remember when Nestle’s refrigerated dough was found to contain E. coli, which may have come from the flour used to make the dough.
Here’s the info on recalled items:
If you have any questions about flour products or about this recall, contact General Mills using their contact form, or at 1-800-230-8103.
General Mills announces flour recall [General Mills]