General Mills is voluntarily pulling some of its all-purpose flour bags out of an abundance of caution over potential E. coli contamination.
Five-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour with a better if used by date of Sept. 6, 2020 are being recalled after samples flagged the potential presence of E. coli strain O26.
Only the single date of the five-pound flour product is affected. Bags of the same product with a different date code are not included in the recall.
Consumers who purchased the recalled product are asked to dispose of it. The company said impacted consumers can reach their customer relations division for a replacement coupon at 1-800-230-8103.
General Mils reminded consumers that flour is not a ready-to-eat ingredient and advised against consuming raw food products made with flour without the proper preparation.
“E. coli O26 is killed by heat through baking, frying, sauteing or boiling products made with flour,” the company said, announcing the recall on Monday.
“Do not eat uncooked dough or batter made with raw flour. Flour is made from wheat that is grown outdoors where bacteria are often present. Flour is typically not treated to kill bacteria during the normal milling process.”
While they are normally present in a healthy human intestinal tract, Escherichia coli can cause severe illness if ingested through contaminated food and water.
The Centers for Disease Control states symptoms of infection include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Seniors, infants and persons with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to the pathogen.
No direct cases of illness have been reported from the recalled flour.