CDC Links E. coli Illnesses To Recalled Flour From General Mills

Image courtesy of cbertel

Yesterday, General Mills announced a recall of 10 million pounds of flour because it was potentially linked to an outbreak of E. coli that affected 38 patients in 20 states. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they have linked Gold Medal and Signature Kitchens flour to illnesses in this outbreak.

In this case, the link came from a traceback investigation: out of the 21 people interviewed early on in the investigation, 16 of them said that there was flour used in their house in the previous week, and nine of them specifically remembered eating or touching raw dough at home or at a restaurant.

12 of the patients recalled using Gold Medal flour, and authorities used the packages of flour from their homes to trace the outbreak back even farther: to the Missouri General Mills plant that the flour came from. Patients identified so far in the outbreak range in age from one to 95 years old, and most of them are female.


Since most things that you make with flour are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill E. coli, illnesses might be rare relative to the amount of food that’s already been eaten: not because they’re no fun, but because

If you have flour from the affected batch –– again, this is ten million pounds –– throw it away. If you put your flour in a jar or tub and throw the bag away, but know it was one of the affected brands, the CDC and General Mills recommend throwing it out anyway. Make sure to wash any bowls, tools, and containers that came in contact with the flour in hot, soapy water.

Here are the packages that you should look for on your shelf:






This is not the same strain of E. coli that was linked to meals eaten at Chipotle restaurants late last year. The ingredient that was the source of that contamination was never identified.

General Information: E. coli [CDC]

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