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Flour seems about as basic as an ingredient gets, and it's hard to believe that it can make you sick (unless you're allergic to gluten, of course). But yesterday General Mills recalled 10 million pounds of flour linked to an E. coli outbreak that has affected 38 people in 20 states since last December, according to USA Today.
To be clear, no one has confirmed that General Mills brand flour is specifically problematic. But the company voluntarily recalled various types of flours, listed below, in an abundance of caution. General Mills also took the opportunity to remind consumers of how to handle flour.
The Centers for Disease Control found that about half of the people who fell ill from the E. coli outbreak reported having made something with flour just before they got sick and some of them used General Mills flour. Although General Mills noted no E. coli 0121 -- the strain in question in the latest outbreak -- it nonetheless felt that a recall was the right response.
"As a leading provider of flour for 150 years, we felt it was important to not only recall the product and replace it for consumers if there was any doubt, but also to take this opportunity to remind our consumers how to safely handle flour," Liz Nordlie, president of General Mills Baking division, said in a statement. In that spirit, the company urged consumers to wash hands, work surfaces, and utensils and strongly warned against eating raw dough.
For those who do not know, General Mills also explained how flour is made. Wheat, which is grown outdoors and then milled carries the risk of bacteria until it is killed in the cooking process through baking, frying, or boiling.
According o General Mills, these are the types of flour being recalled:
If you have fallen ill due to a contaminated food or were injured by a defective product, talk to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to hear your story and assess your claim.
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