E. coli Outbreak Possibly Tied to Flour

E. coli O121 infections reported to CDC from 20 states, possibly tied to flour

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(RxWiki News) The FDA, CDC and local health officials have begun investigating a multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported infections in 38 people from a total of 20 states. The CDC began receiving reports from December 2015 until May 2016. During its investigation, the CDC found that some people who were reportedly sick had consumed or handled raw dough.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was able to trace the dough back to General Mills flour. This specific flour was produced in a particular week in November 2015.

General Mills has conducted a voluntary recall of flour products that were produced between Nov. 14, 2015, and Dec. 4, 2015. Products and their UPCs being recalled include the following:

  • Gold Medal All Purpose flour (000-16000-10410, 000-16000-10610, 000-16000-10410 and 000-16000-10710)
  • Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour (000-16000-11710)
  • Gold Medal Unbleached Flour (000-16000-19610)
  • Signature Kitchens Flour (000-21130-53022 and 000-21130-53001)
  • Gold Medal Wondra Flour (000-16000-18980)

Check recalls for specifics on the expiration dates for the products being recalled.

Those who become infected with the bacterium E. coli O121 can experience diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Typically, those who are infected will feel sick for three to four days on average after infection and will typically recover within a week. However, some people may experience a more severe illness if infected with E. coli O121. These people are usually young children, the elderly and those with a weakened immune system.

If you experience diarrhea (lasting more than three days) with fever, blood in the stool and vomiting, contact your health care professional.

If you have any of these recalled products in your home, the FDA recommends disposing of them.

The FDA also recommends following safe food-handling practices when handling raw dough. The FDA warns against playing with or eating raw dough. Hands and utensils should be washed after handling raw dough products. Always separate raw foods from other foods during food preparation.

The FDA is continuing to investigate and will provide updates as they become available.

Last Updated:
June 7, 2016