Bakers Beware: E.coli Outbreak Linked to Flour

Three popular brands of flour—Pillsbury, ALDI’s Baker’s Corner, and King Arthur Flour—have issued recalls following an E.coli outbreak that has made 17 people from eight different states ill. According to the most recent information, there have been three hospitalizations related to this outbreak, but there have not been any fatalities.

What flour products are affected?

Not every brand of flour is linked to the outbreak. The three flour brands that have issued recalls were either associated with or manufactured by ADM Milling Co. The recalled brands and products include:

  • King Arthur Flour, Inc. recalled 14,218 cases of 5-pound bags of King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour with the following “Best Used By” dates and lot codes:
    • Best Used By 12/07/19, Lot: L18A07C
    • Best Used By 12/08/19, Lots: L18A08A, L18A08B
    • Best Used By 12/14/19, Lots: L18A14A, L18A14B, L18A14C
  • ALDI issued a recall of all of their 5-pound bags of Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour sold in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia. The recalled flour bags are marked with the following UPC code: 041498130404.
  • Hometown Food Company recalled their Pillsbury Best Bread Flour 5-pound bags with the UPC code 0 5150020031 5 and the following lot codes and use-by dates:
    • Lot Code: 8 342, Use-By Date: JUN 08 2020
    • Lot Code: 8 343, Use-By Date: JUN 09 2020

 What are the symptoms of E.coli?

Symptoms of E.coli can vary, but generally begin three to four days after ingesting contaminated food or drink. Common symptoms include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting. Most people are able to recover within a week, but severe cases can last longer. The CDC recommends contacting your doctor if you have symptoms of an E.coli infection.

How can I prevent becoming sick?

To avoid becoming sick with E.coli, you should not consume or use the recalled flour. If you’ve stored any of the recalled flour in a container, discard the flour and thoroughly wash the container before using it again.

If you’re a restaurant or retailer, you should check for the recalled flour to ensure that you’re not selling or serving it.

What’s next?

Public health agencies and officials are currently investigating the outbreak. In the meantime, be sure to avoid consuming the recalled flours to prevent illness.

For more information on the outbreak, click here.

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