The FDA published a new warning this week about the dangers of E. coli and the recent General Mills flour recall. They strongly advised consumers to avoid eating any raw dough (with or without eggs) or using raw dough to make homemade play dough or crafts.
According to their press release:
Flour, regardless of the brand, can contain bacteria that cause disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials, is investigating an outbreak of infections that illustrates the dangers of eating raw dough. Dozens of people across the country have been sickened by a strain of bacteria called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121.
The investigation found that raw dough eaten or handled by some of the patients was made with General Mills flour produced in a Kansas City, Missouri, facility. Subsequent tests by the FDA linked bacteria in a flour sample to bacteria from people who had become ill.
General Mills conducted a voluntary recall of 10 million pounds of flour sold under three brand names: Gold Medal, Signature Kitchen’s, and Gold Medal Wondra. The varieties include unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising flours. Flour has a long shelf life, and many people store bags of flour for a long time. If you have any of these recalled items in your home, you should throw them away.
Some of the recalled flours had been sold to restaurants that allow children to play with dough made from the raw flour while waiting for their meals. CDC is advising restaurants not to give customers raw dough.
For more information on the warning, see the FDA website.
You can see all the details of the General Mills Flour recall at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm504235.htm.