Flour recall upgraded to nationwide Salmonella outbreak

BREAKING: A voluntary national recall of two-, five- and 10-pound bags of General Mills Gold Medal Unbleached and Bleached All Purpose Flour due to potential presence of Salmonella Infantis, now is being described by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Salmonella outbreak.

As Allegany Hope Community News reported Saturday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted information about the nationwide recall which affects two date codes and four bagged products only, which resulted from a sampling of the five-pound bag product.

However, according to the online Food Safety News, the recall “did not mention the outbreak in its recall notice,” with the company not reporting how many pounds of flour it recalled.

“Testing by the FDA has now shown that flour produced by General Mills is contaminated with the outbreak strain of Salmonella,” according to the media source.

The CDC says 13 sick people to date, including one in New York and three hospitalized, range in age from 12 to 81 years, with a median age of 64 and 92 percent being female.

Seven out of eight persons interviewed so far, or 88 percent, reported eating raw dough or batter, a practice which previously has been warned against by both the CDC and FDA.

“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” according to the CDC. “This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes three to four weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.”

Some 1.2 million cases of Salmonella Infantis are reported in the U.S. annually, with symptoms typically starting within six hours to six days after infection and lasting four to seven days. Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician, with severe illnesses sometimes requiring hospitalization.

Listings and information about this and other recalls, which often are posted by the FDA, including actions which should be taken by a consumer, are available at https://bit.ly/3tEDguJ. A Food Safety News story, which provides additional information about this and other General Mills flour recalls, is available at https://bit.ly/40QF15j.