In response to an E. coli outbreak (E. coli O121) across 20 U.S. states, which has caused 38 cases of illness, General Mills has issued a voluntary recall for three brands of its flour, totaling around 10 million pounds: Gold Medal, Gold Medal Wondra, and Signature Kitchens Flour.
A great many U.S. households keep all-purpose flours in their pantries—whether for making pancakes, cookies, or whipping up a batch of dog treats, it’s important that we know how to use this ingredient safely. Here is a complete list of products and identification numbers included in the recall:
— 13.5-ounce Gold Medal Wondra — Package UPC 000-16000-18980; Better if Used by Dates 25FEB2017 thru 30MAR2017
— 2-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour — Package UPC 000-16000-10710; Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC thru 03JUN2017K
— 5-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour — Package UPC 000-16000-10610; Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC thru 31MAY2017KC, 01JUN2017KC, 03JUN2017KC thru 05JUN2017KC, 11JUN2017KC thru 14JUN2017KC
— 10-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour — Package UPC 000-16000-10410; Better if Used by Dates 02JUN2017KC,03JUN2017KC
— 10-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour Banded Pack — Package UPC 000-16000-10410; Better if Used by Dates 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC, 05JUN2017KC
— 5-pound Gold Medal Unbleached Flour — Package UPC 000-16000-19610; Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC, 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC
— 5-pound Signature Kitchens All Purpose Flour Enriched Bleached — Package UPC 000-21130-53001; Better if Used by Dates BB MAY 28 2017
— 5-pound Signature Kitchens Unbleached Flour All Purpose Enriched —Package UPC 000-21130-53022; Better if Used by Dates BB MAY 27 2017
— 2-pound Gold Medal Self Rising Flour — Package UPC 000-16000-11710; Better if Used by Dates 23AUG2016KC
The FDA news release states that “some of the ill consumers may have also consumed raw dough or batter,” and that milling wheat always carries a risk of bacteria which is killed when cooked, baked, fried, or boiled. General Mills reminds its customers never to consume raw dough or batter for this reason.
Research on the E. coli outbreak has been in effect since December 21, 2015. The FDA states that “[a]lthough most strains of E. coli are harmless,” symptoms of illness include bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Seniors, children, and individuals with compromised immune systems are most at risk for foodborne illnesses.
E. coli O121 has not been found in any General Mills flours or manufacturing facilities, and no confirmed cases of illness have been confirmed in relation to these products. For any questions or replacement product requests, please contact the company at 800-230-8103. Additional information can be found at www.generalmills.com/flour.