A sample of General Mills flour was tested positive for E. coli O121 by federal officials. The sample, recovered from the home of a sick person, was associated with the outbreak that affected over 38 people starting from December 2015.
The company has made a massive recall of many brands and varieties of flour. According to the FDA, 10 of the 38 reported victims needed to be hospitalized because their symptoms were too severe. The number of affected consumers covers 20 states after the first victim was confirmed in December 21st, 2015.
It is paradoxical how such a dangerous outbreak has started from a single person. This situation shows how essential the quality of food is. Moreover, the process of manufacturing it must be 100% safe, otherwise, consequences could be dangerous, such as in this context.
Besides the 38 confirmed cases, CDC announced that no other case had been reported since May 5th. Unfortunately, it is not because no one has gotten ill since then, but because it takes an average of around three weeks until the symptoms appear and the illness is reported.
As mentioned previously, General Mills recalled a large variety of products on May 31st, consisting of 10 million pounds of flour, sold under the Signature Kitchens, Gold Medal Wondra and Gold Medal brands, from unidentified food producing companies, restaurants, and retailers.
Furthermore, the varieties of recalled flour include self-rising flours, all-purpose and unbleached. Experts and public health officials are still worried that customers might still have the recalled flour in their homes without knowing that it has the E. coli O121.
According to Dr. Karen Neil, a CDC’s Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch medical epidemiologist, consumers are urged to check their packages of flour and to throw them immediately away if the label codes match those of the products that were recalled.
Plus, people are advised to wash their hands and clean their containers, as well as any object in the house that came into contact with the flour. Plus, using the flour in cooking or baking is the worst possible idea, as it might kill the consumer and cross-contaminate other foods, surfaces, and utensils during preparation.
Plus, raw dough or batter must be avoided as they can also contain the E. coli O121. Hopefully, the problem of the recalled flour will soon be over.