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.
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:
13.5 ounce Gold Medal Wondra Flour
|Recalled Better if Used by Dates||25FEB2017 thru 30MAR2017|
2 lb. Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
|Recalled Better if Used by Dates||25MAY2017KC thru 03JUN2017KC|
2lb Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour
|Recalled Better if Used by Dates||23AUG2016KC|
10lb Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
|Recalled Better if Used by Dates||02JUN2017KC, 03JUN2017KC|
5lb Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
|Recalled Better if Used by Dates||25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC thru 31MAY2017KC, 01JUN2017KC, 03JUN2017KC thru 05JUN2017KC, 11JUN2017KC thru 14JUN2017KC|
5lb Gold Medal Unbleached Flour
|Recalled Better if Used by Dates||25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC, 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC|
10lb Gold Medal All Purpose Flour- Banded Pack
|Recalled Better if Used by Dates||03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC, 05JUN2017KC|
5lb Signature Kitchens All Purpose Flour Enriched Bleached
|Recalled Better if Used by Dates||BB MAY 28 2017|
5lb Signature Kitchens Unbleached Flour All Purpose Enriched
|Recalled Better if Used by Dates||BB MAY 27 2017|