May 31, 2016 • By

General Mills announces flour recall

Editor’s note: On July 1, 2016, we announced an expansion of the recall on Gold Medal, Gold Medal Wondra, and Signature Kitchens flour due to possible E. coli O121 contamination. Please visit GeneralMills.com/flour for more information. Please note that guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to warn that consumers should refrain from consuming any raw products made with flour. On July, 11, 2016, we announced that two flavors of Betty Crocker cake mix sold in the U.S. and one flavor sold in Canada have been added to General Mills’ previously announced flour recall. Please visit GeneralMills.com/flour for more information. 

This morning, we issued a voluntary recall for some of our flour products as a precaution. The details of the situation are outlined in the press release.

General Mills is collaborating with health officials to investigate an ongoing, multistate outbreak of a specific type of E. coli (E. coli O121) that may be potentially linked to Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour and Signature Kitchens flour.

While attempting to track the cause of the illness, CDC found that approximately half of the individuals reported making something homemade with flour at some point prior to becoming ill. Some reported using a General Mills brand of flour.

At General Mills, the safety of our products is our top priority.

While we have not found any presence of E. coli O121 in any General Mills flour products or in the flour manufacturing facility, and we have not been contacted directly by any consumer reporting confirmed illnesses related to these products, we want to take an active part in helping to prevent food borne illnesses.

As the leading provider of retail flour in the U.S. and a source of baking advice for 150 years, General Mills employs food scientists, chefs, registered dietitians, and lots of people who love food, and love to cook for their families. We really want you to understand how to keep your family safe from common food illnesses, and not so common ones – like E. coli O121.

Here are a few safety tips related to flour:

• Flour comes from milling wheat, grown outdoors where bacteria are often present. Flour is a raw ingredient that is intended to be cooked or baked. While it is rare for individuals to get sick from flour, it is possible.

• Raw dough or batter should not be eaten – no matter how tempting. Children should not be provided raw dough to play with (including at restaurants) unless they are carefully supervised and wash their hands afterwards. Young children frequently like to put things in their mouth or ‘taste’ things, and they are particularly susceptible to getting sick from food borne illnesses.

• Bacteria found in raw flour are eliminated by normal cooking, baking, frying, or boiling products made with flour. Bacteria is commonly found in flour at low levels because flour comes from milling wheat, something that is grown outdoors where bacteria are often present.

• All surfaces, hands and utensils should be properly cleaned after contact with flour or dough. Surfaces dusted with flour to roll dough for example, should be properly cleaned after use.

We hope these tips help you safely enjoy great food and the joys of baking and cooking. Additional food safety information is available on the FDA’s website.

If you have any of the products in the recall – listed at GeneralMills.com/Flour – they should be disposed of and not used.

If you have additional questions, including how to receive replacement products, we can be reached at 1-800-230-8103.