General Mills is recalling several types of flour over a possible link with an E. coli outbreak in 20 states, the company said in a news release.
The Associated Press reported the recall involves about 10 million pounds of flour.
Included in the recall are Gold Medal Wondra flour, Gold Medal all-purpose flour, Gold Medal unbleached flour, some Signature flours and Gold Medal self-rising flour. A complete list, including dates and UPC codes, is on the General Mills website.
State and federal authorities have been researching 38 instances of illness between Dec. 21, 2015, and May 3, 2016. About half of those sickened said they had made something homemade with flour prior to being ill. Some also reported using a General Mills brand of flour.
General Mills said some of the consumers may have consumed raw dough or batter. It warned against eating flour products when they are raw.
“Flour is an ingredient that comes from milling wheat, something grown outdoors that carries with it risks of bacteria which are rendered harmless by baking, frying or boiling,” the company said. “Consumers are reminded to wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough products or flour, and to never eat raw dough or batter.”
Symptoms begin about two to eight days after consuming the bacteria. They include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Most people recover from the illness in five to seven days. Some individuals may develop a severe illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, which can be life-threatening, although most people recover in a few weeks.
Anyone with any of the products listed on the General Mills website should throw them away. Consumers with additional questions or requesting a replacement should contact the company at 800-230-8103. Additional recall information can also be found at generalmills.com/flour.