More Reported Illnesses Lead General Mills to Expand Flour Recall

More Reported Illnesses Lead General Mills to Expand Flour RecallGeneral Mills has expanded the list to Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchen products with “better if used by” dates of Aug. 9 or later, after new reports of E. Coli linked to consuming raw dough.

General Mills Inc. said it was expanding its recall of flour products to those produced last fall following a newly reported illness.

The food producer said it has added products with “better if used by” dates of Aug. 9 or later to the list of its Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchen brand recalls.

For a complete list of recalled products, click here:

The company is working with health officials to investigate a multistate outbreak of E. coli that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said likely started at the company’s Kansas City, Mo., plant.

General Mills, state and federal authorities had previously been looking into 38 occurrences of illnesses across 20 states related to the E.coli strain, E.coli 0121. Those cases had occurred between Dec. 21, 2015, and May 3.
The newly reported illness appeared to be linked to consumption of raw dough or batter from flour the company had produced last fall. In June, the CDC said that some of those initially reported illnesses were from people who said they ate or tasted homemade dough or batter while it was still raw.

General Mills said guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CDC continues to warn consumers not to eat raw products made with flour. It said the E. coli O121 strain is killed with heat through baking, frying, sautéing or boiling products made with flour.

The company advised consumers to properly clean all surfaces, hands and utensils after contact with flour or dough.

In May, the Minneapolis cereal company voluntarily recalled more than 10 million pounds of flour used in those brands as a precaution, saying that it had not yet been contacted by any consumers who had fallen ill from its products. The recalled brands are sold in supermarkets such as Albertsons Cos., Safeway Inc. and Jewel-Osco.

According to the company, many E. coli strains aren’t harmful, but E. coli O121 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can result in dehydration and bloody diarrhea. Groups most at risk to the foodborne illness are seniors, young children and people with weakened immune systems.

General Mills in October also recalled 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios because wheat flour was inadvertently added to cereal labeled gluten-free.

General Mills stock has risen 11% over the past three months. In late afternoon trade, shares were up 0.8%, to $71.88.


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