General Mills on Tuesday announced it has recalled about 10 million pounds of flour amid a health investigation over an E. coli outbreak.
The food company is working with state and federal health officials to determine if the bacteria strain that has sickened 38 people in 20 states is linked to its Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchens flour, it said in a statement.
Half of those who fell ill between when the outbreak began in late December 2015 into early May have said they were “making something homemade with flour at some point prior to becoming ill,” the company said, adding that some may have eaten raw dough.
The Minneapolis-based company said E. coli has not been found in any General Mills flour products or in their manufacturing facility. “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.
E. coli can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.