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By Jim Adler June 3, 2016

Auto defects such as bad tires or airbags aren’t behind all massive recalls affecting millions of Americans. Food recalls also can have a great impact, including a recent General Mills recall of 10 million pounds of flour.

General Mills’ flour recall came in response to a possible link between its flour and an E. coli outbreak that has made 38 people sick in 20 states since December of 2015.

The outbreak triggered an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC learned that around one in two persons in the outbreak who became ill with E. coli O121  reported making a homemade food with flour before getting sick.

Also, some victims specifically said they’d used a General Mills flour brand.

General Mills Flour is Widespread

General Mills’ Gold Medal brand of flour is the most widely used flour in this country, according to a spokesman with General Mills, which is based in Minneapolis, MN.

General Mills did its own investigation and said it found no E. coli O121 in Gold Medal flour or in any of its flour products. However, General Mills is making the sweeping flour recall as a precaution to protect customers just in case.

General Mills said the flour in the food recall was milled at its Kansas City, MO plant. As General Mills noted, flour is made by milling wheat, and wheat is grown outdoors. That means it has a risk of receiving bacteria. Such bacteria can be eliminated via boiling, frying or baking.

According to General Mills, persons who became ill after consuming its flour may have eaten  raw dough or batter.

If you or a loved one suffered an E. coli food poisoning illness after using General Mills flour, notify an experienced injury lawyer with Jim Adler & Associates. You may be legally entitled to financial compensation via a food poisoning lawsuit.

Which Flour Was Recalled?

As for which bags of flour were recalled, they include some bags of the following General Mills flour products:

  • Gold Medal bleached and unbleached flour
  • Signature Kitchen bleached and unbleached flour
  • Gold Medal self-rising flour
  • Gold Medal Wondra quick-mixing flour

More specifically, the General Mills flour recall involves these bags:

  • 13.5-ounce Gold Medal Wondra
  • 2-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
  • 5-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
  • 10-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
  • 10-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour Banded Pack
  • 5-pound Gold Medal Unbleached Flour
  • 5-pound Signature Kitchens All Purpose Flour Enriched Bleached
  • 5-Pound Signature Kitchens Unbleached Flour All Purpose Enriched
  • 2-pound Gold Medal Self Rising Flour

These bags of flour were sold across America at such retailers as Randalls, Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, Jewel, Shaw’s, United and Acme.

E. Coli Is Serious

E. coli O121 is a serious and even potentially fatal bacteria which can cause food poisoning. The bacteria can lead to vomiting, cramps, diarrhea which can be bloody and other complications which even can be life-threatening, says the CDC.

Also known as Escherichia coli, not all E. coli is harmful, but some E. coli can be pathogenic. That means it can cause diarrhea or other illnesses, perhaps even beyond the intestinal tract. This kind of E. coli may be transmitted through contaminated food or water, or perhaps via contact with persons or animals which have E. coli.

Other Food Recalls

Flour recalls due to foodborne outbreaks are highly unusual. In 2009, Nestle issued a recall of Nestle Toll House prepackaged cookie dough which may have been connected to the illnesses of 77 persons in 30 states.

Almost half of those persons had to be hospitalized, some with serious illnesses. In response, Nestle recalled 3.6 million packages of its cookie dough.

Other food recalls include Foster Poultry Farms’ recall of over 220,000 pounds of frozen chicken nuggets which may have been contaminated by black rubber and blue plastic substances. This food recall happened on April 29, 2016.

The Louisiana-based company received some consumer complaints about the extraneous materials, but no confirmed reports of adverse reactions because of consuming them.

In other cases, salmonella food poisoning is the danger. In 2008, federal authorities spent weeks trying to locate a source of salmonella food poisoning, which first was attributed to bad tomatoes, then to jalapenos and eventually pinpointed to produce made in Mexico.

The following year, King Nut Companies issued a recall of creamy peanut butter it had sold to  institutional food services at hospitals, nursing homes, universities and restaurants. The peanut butter, which King Nut said came from Peanut Corp. of America in Virginia, reportedly caused salmonella infections in Minnesota and other states.

Salmonella is a bacteria which can cause vomiting, cramps, fever and diarrhea for 12 to 72 hours following infection. This can last for up to a week, and a majority of victims recover without treatment. But in some severe cases, salmonella victims become severely dehydrated and must be hospitalized.

Blue Bell Ice Cream Recall

Far more notoriously among Texans, famed Blue Bell Ice Cream of Brenham, Texas, located between Houston and Austin, issued recalls for its ice cream in 2015 when the products were found to have been contaminated with listeria bacteria.

Listeria can cause listeriosis, a serious bacterial infection which can come from consuming food contaminated with listeria. Listeriosis largely affects the elderly, newborns, adults with weakened immune systems and pregnant women — and in 20 per cent of cases it can be fatal.

Blue Bell recalled all of its ice cream and frozen dairy products when listeria was found in more than one product and at more than one plant.

Other smaller food recalls are issued routinely. You can find more information by visiting: http://www.foodsafety.gov/recalls/recent/.

Get a Food Recall Lawyer

Products involved in food recalls should not be consumed, but rather should be thrown away or returned to the point of purchase.

Notify a food recall lawyer with Jim Adler if one of your loved ones was harmed by a defective food product. In fact, you may do so whether or not the food in question has been involved in a massive food recall.

Let us hear from you, and let us help. You may need a food poisoning lawsuit.

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