General Mills Flour-Linked E. coli Outbreak Linked to 63 IllnessesOct 3, 2016
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued its final report on the E. coli outbreak linked to General Mills flour products. The agency says that a total of 63 people became ill in 24 states; this includes 17 additional confirmed cases since late July. Even though the probe has ended, the CDC says it expects new cases to continue because flour products have a long shelf life and consumers may still have these recalled products in their homes.
Cases of E. coli illness were first linked to General Mills flour products last December. Minnesota Public Radio reports that new cases have been reported as recently as September. People who became sick ranged in age from 1 to 95. The recall has not been linked to any deaths so far.
CDC says the E. coli outbreak "is a reminder that it is not safe to taste or eat raw dough or batter, whether made from recalled flour or any other flour." Agency investigators said the source of the outbreak is likely flour produced at a General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri.
Due to potential E. coli contamination, General Mills issued several recalls on various sizes and varieties of Gold Medal Flour, Gold Medal Wondra Flour and Signature Kitchens Flour.
The initial recall was launched on May 31, 2016. The company expanded the recall most recently in late July after four more illnesses were confirmed. "The 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. No illnesses have been connected with flour that has been properly baked, cooked or handled." the recall alert stated.