Check your pantry, because General Mills has voluntarily recalled 5-pound bags of Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour for possible E. coli contamination. General Mills announced the recall after the strain E. coli 026 was found during a sampling of Gold Medal’s 5-pound bags of unbleached flour.
The recalled flour has better if used by date of Sept. 6, 2020, and bears the UPC 016000 196100 on the packaging.
The flour is being recalled out of an abundance of caution, and so far, the company has not received any reports from consumers about illness related to consuming the product.
If you have an affected bag of flour, you should dispose of it.
The Food and Drug Administration always warns against eating any raw food products made with flour because of the possible presence of dangerous strains E. coli. Some strains of E. coli are harmless, but E. coli 026, which was the strain found in this product, can pose serious health problems, including dehydration, bloody diarrhea and even death.
E. coli 026, along with other dangerous strains, such as E. coli O157:H7, which can be found in raw vegetables and undercooked ground beef, are most threatening to seniors, the very young and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy adults typically recover from an E. coli infection in about a week. If you are experiencing symptoms and believe it may be due to an E. coli infection, you should seek medical care immediately.
The bacteria is killed when flour is cooked, through baking, frying, sauteing or boiling anything made with flour. You should also take care to thoroughly clean all surfaces, dishes and utensils, as well as your hands, after working with flour or dough.
flour with wheat on a wooden kitchen bench
This is a good reminder that it’s not safe to consume raw dough when you’re baking. While it can be tempting to eat raw cookie dough, for example, the health risks are not worth it, as the raw eggs that are usually in dough can also carry salmonella. If you have to have your cookie dough, try out Toll House Edible Cookie Dough, which is safe to eat.
If you have concerns about this recall, you can contact General Mills Consumer Relations at 800-230-8103 or visit generalmills.com/flour.