Food giant General Mills has an E. coli problem. The Minnesota-based company added more production dates to an ongoing flour recall this week after four people were found sick from consuming its products.
General Mills said in a statement it was using new detection methods to determine if the levels of E. coli were higher than normal. Consumers have become sick after eating raw dough or batter. "Illnesses have NOT come from properly baked or cooked flour," the company said in a statement.
"We want all the avid home bakers out there to have peace of mind and know the most important thing they can do to keep safe is to not eat uncooked flour," Jeff Harmening, General Mills president and chief operating officer, said Monday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said flour produced at a General Mills plant in Kansas City, Missouri, is likely behind the outbreak. More than 45 in 21 states have reported health problems linked to the contaminated flour. While no deaths have been reported, 13 people have been hospitalized and one person developed a type of kidney failure.
"Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. E. coliO121 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Seniors, the very young, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement about the recall.
The affected products include Gold Medal and Signature Kitchen flour with production dates from May 31, 2016 through Feb. 10, 2016. The recall applies to the following UPC codes and to packages with a "better if used by date" through August 2017:
-13.5 ounce Gold Medal Wondra, Package UPC 000-16000-18980
-2 pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour, Package UPC 000-16000-10710
-4.25 pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour, Package UPC 000-16000-12670
-5 pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour, Package UPC 000-16000-10610
-2 pound Signature Kitchens All Purpose Flour Enriched Bleached, Package UPC 000-21130-53000
-Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Party Rainbow Chip Cake Mix, Package UPC 000-16000-40997
-Betty Crocker Super Moist Rainbow Bit Cake Mix, Package UPC 000-65633-46589
The full list can be found here.