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article imageGeneral Mills flour recall expands as more people become sick

By Karen Graham     Jul 26, 2016 in Food
General Mills expanded their flour recall on Monday after federal officials told the company that four more people had fallen victim to the 21-state E. coli outbreak linked to the tainted flour.
According to News For Shoppers, the four new illnesses came from two states, Minnesota and Wisconsin. One person is in the hospital with a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, caused by a prolonged and severe E. coli infection.
The Kansas City, Missouri-based General Mills plant that produced the flour linked to the outbreak continues to operate as the recall expands. With this latest announcement, General Mills has recalled 45 million pounds of flour, which company officials told Food Safety News is “a small percentage of the flour we produce.”
To update the time-line regarding this recall, the first notice on May 31 was for 10 million pounds of flour, while a July 1 expansion of the recall added 20 million more pounds of flour. The July 25 recall added an additional 15 million pounds. General Mills says they produce on average about 2.5 billion pounds of flour annually.
Thirteen of the 46 confirmed outbreak victims have been hospitalized, with the first confirmed case showing up on December 21, 2015. The FDA, CDC, and state health departments used whole genome sequencing to identify the Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O121 and O26 infections.
According to a statement issued by the Food and Drug Administration on July 25, a traceback investigation determined that the raw dough eaten or handled by ill people or used in restaurant locations was made using General Mills flour that was produced in November 2015 and select production dates through February 10, 2016 at the General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri.
These are two of the three Betty Crocker cake mixes under recall in the U.S. The third is a “Delig...
These are two of the three Betty Crocker cake mixes under recall in the U.S. The third is a “Delights” version of the “Rainbow Bit” mix.
General Mills
General Mills’ Chief Operating Officer Jeff Harmening said in Monday’s news release that “the most important thing (consumers) can do to keep safe is to not eat uncooked flour.” The news release also reminds consumers that flour is made from wheat that is grown outdoors where bacteria is often present. The milling process does not kill the bacteria.
For a complete list of all General Mills flour products and other products recalled because of this particular outbreak, consumers can go to the FDA website.
More about General mills, expanded recall, 15 million pounds, 21state outbreak, E coli
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