Another infection with E . Coil bacteria was linked to the consumption of raw dough or batter made from General Mills flour. The company said that it would expand the current flour recall to brands that are “better if used by” August 9 or later.
Brands covered by the recall are Signature Kitchen, Wondra, and Gold Medal. So far, General Mills has recalled 10 million pounds of flour after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked an E- Coli outbreak to flour produced by its Kansas City plant.
The food producer is currently cooperating with federal authorities to get to the bottom of the outbreak which sickened dozens of people across 20 states between late Dec. and early May. The CDC officials said that they are currently looking for a bacterial strain called E. Coli 0121.
Last month, the CDC also said that several of the sickened people admitted that they consumed homemade raw dough or batter made from the suspicious flour.
On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CDC advised people not to consume raw dough or other raw products from flour. E. Coli bacteria in flour can be only killed if the foods are baked, fired, boiled, roasted etc.
“Eating raw dough or batter—whether it’s for bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas—could make you, and your kids sick,”
the warning reads.
People are also advised to clean all surfaces and tools that get in contact with raw dough or flour. Additionally, consumers should wash their hands every time they handle products made from flour.
The health authorities cautioned that raw dough that has eggs in composition could double the risk of food-borne illness as consumers can get infected with Salmonella from eggs as well.
Two months ago, General Mills agreed to voluntarily recall millions of pounds of flour just in case. Back then the Minneapolis cereal company said that it received no complaints from its customers over an E. Coli contamination.
Authorities explained that E. Coli is not life threatening, but the new strain, E. Coli 0121 can lead to severe dehydration, bloody diarrhea, and even death if left untreated. The groups with the highest risk are the elderly, small children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems such as cancer or HIV patients.
General Mills also had to recall nearly 2 million Cheerios boxes from the gluten-free line, as they contained potentially contaminated flour.
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