Salmonella Outbreak from Recalled Flour Has Sickened At Least 13 People in 12 States: CDC
Federal health officials have linked a multi-state Salmonella poisoning outbreak to General Mills Gold Medal flour products, after routine testing confirmed bacterial contamination, resulting in a recall this week for products sold nationwide.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Food Safety Alert on May 1, announcing that an outbreak of Salmonella poisonings that began to emerge late last year is the result of recalled flour products pulled from store shelves this week.
To date, at least 13 people from 12 states have reported Salmonella illnesses since December 6, 2022, with three individuals requiring hospitalization. Now that the source of the Salmonella outbreak has been linked to contaminated Gold Medal flour, officials are urging all consumer to check their pantries and dispose of the products immediately to prevent additional illnesses.
Recalled Gold Medal Flour Linked to Salmonella Illnesses
As part of the CDC’s investigation, officials interviewed eight of the individuals who became ill with Salmonella infections. Their ages ranged from 12 to 81 years old and 92% of the individuals were female. Seven of the individuals reported eating raw dough or batter before falling ill. Of the seven individuals who consumed raw dough or batter, all six reported that they purchased Gold Medal flour as the brand of flour.
Using the data obtained from the interviews, officials traced the facility that produced the flour back to a single General Mills Gold Medal flour production facility in Kansas City, Missouri. After testing samples taken from the flour production facility, the strain Salmonella Infantis was identified as the source of the outbreak.
Officials believe that the current data is limited and the number of Salmonella infections, as well as the number of states impacted, may be higher than reported, as it normally takes between three to four weeks for an illness to be linked to part of an outbreak. In addition, illnesses are frequently managed without medical treatment and are therefore not reported.
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2023 General Mills Gold Medal Flour Recall
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the Gold Medal flour recall on April 28, after confirming the presence of Salmonella Infantis bacteria in bags of flour during routine testing.
Included in the recall are the following products, sizes and UPC codes with a “better if used by” date of March 27, 2024 or March 28, 2024.
- Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose flour in five-pound bags with package UPC 000-16000-19610
- Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose flour in ten-pound bagswith package UPC 000-16000-19580
- Gold Medal Bleached All Purpose flour in two-pound bagswith package UPC 000-16000-10710
- Gold Medal Bleached All Purpose flour in five-pound bags with package UPC 000-16000-10610.
Consumers are advised to check their pantries to dispose of or return their recalled flour and to thoroughly wash anything that may have come in contact with the contaminated flour with soap and warm water. Customers who have discarded their products may contact General Mills Consumer Relations at 1-800-230-8103.
Officials recommend to ensure that any brand of raw flour is thoroughly heated before consuming it or to use heat-treated flour instead. They also recommend separating raw flour or any products that contain raw flour from foods that will not be cooked to avoid cross-contamination.
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