So if you have this flour, either dispose of it or return it if it has not been opened.
General Mills Website
Gold Medal, Gold Medal Wondra, and Signature Kitchens flour recalled due to possible E. coli O121 contamination
The FDA has alerted General Mills that it has confirmed one sample from our recalled flour has now tested positive for E. coli O121. The positive test was in flour from the recalled time period noted in the recall below:
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – General Mills is collaborating with health officials to investigate an ongoing, multistate outbreak of E. coli O121 that may be potentially linked to Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour, and Signature Kitchens flour (sold in Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Shaws, Vons, United, Randalls, and Acme). Out of an abundance of caution, a voluntary recall is being made. 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 reporting confirmed illnesses related to these products.
Consumers: Please open this page to ask additional questions of our consumer relations team, or call us at 1-800-230-8103.
State and federal authorities have been researching 38 occurrences of illnesses across 20 states related to a specific type of E. coli (E. coli O121), between December 21, 2015, and May 3, 2016. While attempting to track the cause of the illness, CDC found that approximately half of the individuals reported making something homemade with flour at some point prior to becoming ill. Some reported using a General Mills brand of flour.
Based on the information that has been shared with General Mills, some of the ill consumers may have also consumed raw dough or batter. Consumers are reminded to not consume any raw products made with flour. Flour is an ingredient that comes from milling wheat, something grown outdoors that carries with it risks of bacteria which are rendered harmless by baking, frying or boiling. Consumers are reminded to wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough products or flour, and to never eat raw dough or batter.
“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,” said Liz Nordlie, president of General Mills Baking division.
Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. E. coli O121 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Seniors, the very young, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.
Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician. Anyone diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli O121 is also urged to contact state and local public health authorities.
The recall affects the following retail flour products that could be currently in stores or in consumers’ pantries. It includes six SKUs (stock keeping units or UPC codes) of Gold Medal flour, 2 SKU’s of Signature Kitchens flour and 1 SKU of Gold Medal Wondra flour.
If you have any of the products listed below, they should not be used.
Consumers, please visit this page to ask additional questions of our consumer relations team or you can also call us at 1-800-230-8103
For additional information on this recall, please visit the General Mills blog.
Media can reach the General Mills communications team at 763-764-6364 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The specific products in the recall include:
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 25FEB2017 thru 30MAR2017
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC thru 03JUN2017KC
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 02JUN2017KC,03JUN2017KC
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC, 05JUN2017KC
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC, 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 23AUG2016KC
FDA Outbreak Notice
FDA Investigates Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O121 Infections Linked to Flour
June 10, 2016
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) infections.
What is the Problem and What is Being Done About It?
The FDA, CDC and state and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) infections.
The CDC reports that 38 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O121 have been reported from 20 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 21, 2015 to May 3, 2016. Ten ill people have been hospitalized. In its investigation, CDC learned that some people who got sick had eaten or handled raw dough.
FDA’s traceback investigation determined that the raw dough eaten or handled by ill people or used in restaurant locations was made using General Mills flour that was produced in the same week in November 2015 at the General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri. Epidemiology and traceback evidence available at this time indicate that General Mills flour manufactured at this facility is the likely source of the outbreak. On June 10, 2016, FDA whole genome sequencing on E. coli O121 isolates recovered from an open sample of General Mills flour belonging to one of the consumers who was sickened was found to be closely genetically related the clinical isolates from human illnesses. The flour came from a lot that General Mills has recalled.
On May 31, 2016, following a conference call among FDA, CDC and the firm, General Mills conducted a voluntary recall of flour products produced between November 14, 2015 and December 4, 2015. Recalled products are sold in stores nationwide or may be in consumers’ pantries and are sold under three brand names: Gold Medal flour, Signature Kitchens flour and Gold Medal Wondra flour. The varieties include unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising flours.
General Mills also sells bulk flour to customers who use it to make other products. General Mills has contacted these customers directly to inform them of the recall. FDA is working with General Mills to ensure that the customers have been notified, and to evaluate the recall for effectiveness. Because of legal restrictions on commercial confidential information, FDA is not at this time authorized to release the names of these customers or the products they make with the flour.
Flour has a long shelf life, and bags of flour may be kept in peoples’ homes for a long time. Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to eat these recalled flours and potentially get sick. If consumers have any of these recalled flours in their homes, they should throw them away.
The investigation is ongoing and FDA will provide updated information as it becomes available.
People usually get sick from STEC O121 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the bacteria. Most people develop diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps. Most people recover within a week.
Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS can occur in people of any age, but is most common in young children under 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
Symptoms of HUS can include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination.
People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
People of any age can become infected. Very young children and the elderly are more likely than others to develop severe illness and HUS, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill.
Recalled products are currently sold in stores or may be in consumers’ pantries and are sold under three brand names: Gold Medal Flour, Signature Kitchens Flour, and Gold Medal Wondra flour. The recalled products were sold nationwide and include unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising flours varieties.
The specific products in the recall include:
Restaurants and retailers should throw away any recalled General Mills flour. Some ill people reported handling raw dough at restaurants prior to eating their meal. Restaurants that allow their customers to handle raw dough should evaluate whether this practice is appropriate.
Restaurants and retailers should be aware that flour may be a source of pathogens and should control the potential for cross-contamination of food processing equipment and the food processing environment. They should follow the steps below:
Wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators where potentially contaminated products were stored.
Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to prepare, serve, or store potentially contaminated products.
Wash hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators who have processed and packaged any potentially contaminated products need to be concerned about cross contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with the potentially contaminated products.
Regular frequent cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces and utensils used in food preparation may help to minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination. back to top
What Do Consumers Need To Do?
The recalled General Mills products have a long shelf-life, and they may be in peoples’ homes. Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to eat these products and potentially get sick.
If consumers have these products in their homes, they should throw it away. As a precaution, flour no longer stored in its original packaging should be discarded if it could be covered by this recall, and the containers used to store this flour should be thoroughly washed and sanitized.
Three people who became ill reported handling raw dough at restaurants prior to eating their meal. As a precaution, consumers, especially children, should not handle raw dough at home or at restaurant locations.
FDA warns against eating raw dough products made with any brand of flour or baking mix before cooking. Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures when handling flour. The FDA recommends following these safe food-handling practices to stay healthy:
- Do not eat or play with any raw cookie dough or any other raw dough product made with flour that is intended to be cooked or baked.
- Follow package directions on baking mixes and other flour-containing products for proper cooking temperatures and for specified times.
- Wash hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough products containing flour.
- Keep raw foods separate from other foods while preparing them to prevent any contamination that might be present from spreading. Who Should be Contacted?
- Contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days, or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.
- Consumers with additional questions should contact the company at 800-230-8103. Additional recall information can also be found at www.generalmills.com/flour.
- The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, or to consult the fda.gov website: www.fda.gov.
The information in this release reflects the FDA’s best efforts to communicate what it has learned from the manufacturer and the state and local public health agencies involved in the investigation. The agency will update this page as more information becomes available.
Foodsafety.gov: Food Poisoning - E. coli
CDC: CDC E. coli homepage