General Mills Flour Recall Expands, Linked To Four More Illnesses

Nearly two months after General Mills first recalled flour linked to an E. coli outbreak, leading to hundreds of products being pulled from shelves in stores and homes, the company once again expanded the recall after four additional illnesses were linked to the outbreak. 

General Mills announced Tuesday that it would expand its recall to include several varieties of Gold Medal and Signature Kitchens flour produced on certain dates through February 10, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that four additional illnesses in two states have been linked to the ongoing contamination.

The company said the expanded recall came after illnesses reported to health officials continue to be connected with consumers reporting that they ate or handled uncooked dough or ate uncooked batter made with raw flour.

“E.coli has been detected in a small number of General Mills flour samples and some have been linked to new patient illnesses that fell outside of the previously recalled dates,” General Mills said on Monday.

The newly recalled products include:

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Previously announced recalled flour production dates ranged from November 4, 2015 through December 4, 2015.

In all, as of July 25, the CDC says 46 people in 21 states have been infected with the outbreak strains of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Of those illnesses, 13 people have been hospitalized, with one person developing a type of kidney failure.

It’s possible that more illnesses could be linked to the recall in the future, the CDC says, noting that illnesses that occurred after June 29 may not have been reported yet.

Authorities initially made the 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.

The CDC said on Monday that it now believes the contamination is likely to have come from a General Mills facility in Kansas City, MO.

As with the prior flour recalls, General Mills and the CDC urge consumers not to eat raw dough or batter, whether made from recalled flour or any other flour.

“As a leader in flour production for 150 years, General Mills is committed to convening experts to work with government officials to learn more and create new protocols, if needed,” General Mills President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Harmening said. “Most importantly, we want all the avid home bakers out there to have peace of mind and know the most important thing they can do to keep safe is to not eat uncooked flour.”

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