General Mills, the company that sells Pillsbury products, Cheerios and most of the items in your pantry, has recalled more than 10 million pounds of flour. The products that have been voluntarily recalled are Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour and Signature Kitchens flour, according to the General Mills website.
The recalls began after 38 people in 20 states got sick from a strain of E. coli that is suspected to have originated in General Mills’ flour products between Dec. 21 and May 3. 10 people were hospitalized, though thankfully no deaths have occurred.
Some of the people who contracted E. coli had reportedly eaten raw dough or batter containing flour. A General Mills plant in Kansas City produced most of the flour that is suspected of being contaminated.
“To date, E. coli O121 has not been found in any General Mills flour products or in the flour manufacturing facility, and the company has not been contacted directly by any consumer reporting confirmed illnesses related to these products,” said the General Mills website.
Most strains of E. coli are harmless. However, the strand suspected of causing the recalls, E. coli O121, is potentially deadly when in contact with young children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems. When ingested, it can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration.
In October, General Mills recalled 1.8 million boxes of gluten-free Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios after finding that it had contained gluten. Earlier this year, Chipotle was similarly affected by an E. Coli outbreak, causing it to shut down all its stores for a day.