Gold Medal, Gold Medal Wondra, and Signature flours are products that General Mills voluntarily recalled on May 31. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked illnesses in 38 people in 20 states to a strain of E. coli, reports The New York Times.
Ten people who fell ill have been hospitalized. Investigative efforts indicate that flour produced at the General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri is a likely source of this particular outbreak, according to the CDC website.
“Some of those sickened may have eaten batter or raw dough”, said General Mills in a press release.
The agency stated, “In general, CDC recommends that people not eat raw dough or batter intended for cooking or baking, and children not be provided raw dough to play with. People should use safe-handling practices when preparing such products, including following package directions for cooking at proper temperatures; washing hands, surfaces and utensils after contact with these types of products; avoiding cross-contamination; and refrigerating products properly,” according to the Times.
Most strains of E.coli are harmless, but E.coli O121, the strain identified in the 38 sick people, is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Those with compromised immune systems, seniors, and children are most susceptible, the Times reports.
“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,” General Mills said.
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