WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

FDA issues new warning about E. coli and flour recall

Posted July 1, 2016

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.


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  • observant Jul 4, 2016

    Interesting info , Faye
    I wonder why the flour we buy is not treated that way too

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Jul 1, 2016

    observant - it should not. According to an article I read about it, the cookie dough in ice cream has treated flour that has been heated to kill any bacteria.

    jdouglas13 - my kids always whine because I won't let them eat raw dough but I am so glad I don't.

  • observant Jul 1, 2016

    I wonder if this would include foods that have cookie dough in them 9 such as ice cream) ?? .

  • jdouglas13 Jul 1, 2016

    Wow! Think of all the raw chocolate chip cookie dough that folks consume. Scary.