U.S. food manufacturer General Mills issued a voluntary national recall of certain packages of Gold Medal flour linked to salmonella, according to a Food and Drug Administration announcement.
The company’s April 28 announcement follows an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiated March 30. The CDC reported 13 individuals in 12 states contracted salmonella linked to the recalled products. Three people were hospitalized but no deaths have been reported, according to the health agency.
The Epoch Times further reported:
Investigators for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Gold Medal Flour, manufactured by General Mills, was the source of a recent salmonella outbreak in several U.S. states.
The salmonella outbreak infected at least 13 people in 12 states between Dec. 6, 2022, and March 1, 2023, the CDC announced on May 1.
On April 28, General Mills announced a recall of bleached and unbleached all-purpose Gold Medal Flour in 2-, 5-, and 10-pound bags with a “better if used by date” of March 27–28, 2024.
“All other types of Gold Medal Flour are not affected by this recall,” the company said in the announcement.
The CDC recommended that consumers possessing the recalled flour should throw it away or return it to where it was purchased.
Those who had surfaces, utensils, or containers which were in contact with the raw flour were told to wash them immediately.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was able to trace and identify the outbreak to a single General Mills production facility in Kansas City, Missouri, after collecting samples from the flour.
People who became sick range in age from 12 to 81 years old, with a median age of 64, and 92 percent of them were female.
Of the 13 victims, only three were hospitalized and no deaths were reported.
A whole genome sequence analysis of the bacteria from the victims’ samples did not show any resistance to antibiotics.
Public health officials interviewed eight of the people who became sick, and seven of them admitted to eating raw dough or batter.
Six people who were infected knew which brand of flour they’d consumed, and all six reported buying Gold Medal brand flour, the CDC said.
Most flour is sold raw and is normally left untreated, allowing germs to remain that can cause food poisoning, according to the CDC.
Salmonella is killed when it is cooked or baked, but people have gotten sick when eating or tasting foods that included raw flour.
The CDC advises consumers to bake or cook any foods made with raw flour before eating.
“We are continuing to educate consumers that flour is not a ‘ready to eat’ ingredient. Anything made with flour must be cooked or baked before eating,” said Mollie Wulff, a spokeswoman for General Mills, in a statement.
Salmonella usually causes diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps within six hours to six days after an infection.
Most of those sickened by the bacteria recover within a week without treatment, but infants, seniors, or those with weakened immune systems have a higher chance to develop a severe illness.
The CDC believes that the true number of those sickened is probably higher as some people who recover without medical care fail to get tested for salmonella, and it takes time to link infections with an outbreak.
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