FDA Recalls More Than 4,600 Cases of Pillsbury Flour Over Potential E. Coli Contamination

This year we have seen quite a few E. coli outbreaks and it looks like that trend is going to continue for now as Hometown Food Company has revealed a potential E. coli contamination of its Pillsbury Best 5-pound Bread flour.  

According to data from the United States Food and Drug Administration, Hometown Food Co is recalling roughly 4,620 cases of the suspect flour, which was distributed to retailers and other arms of the supply chain in Delaware, Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The recall announcement also lists that these bags of flour have the UPC code 051500200315.  The suspected bags will also have a use-by date of either June 8 or June 9, 2020. 

While the recall is relatively substantial in size, Hometown Food Co says there are no known illnesses associated with the Pillsbury Best Bread Flour recall.  Simply, the recall has been issued “out of an abundance of caution” because “certain wheat used to make these two lots of Pillsbury best 5 lb Bread Flour has been linked to E. coli illnesses associated with other flour products produced at the ADM mill in Buffalo.”

As with any other recall, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that consumers should not use the suspect flour, simply out of this caution. A news release instructs that should you have the affected product in your home or your business you should discard it immediately or return it to the place of purchase for a manufacturer’s refund. 

It should be noted that while there have been no incidents reported in relation to this flour recall, other flour products have also been recalled due to suspected E. coli contamination. This includes King Arthur Flour and ALDI Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour.  In addition, the CDC has reported at least 17 cases and 3 hospitalizations due to other E. coli contamination linked with flour. 

An E. coli infection typically takes about three to four days before symptoms arise.  According to the CDC, these symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, which can take up to seven days to fully materialize.  In more severe cases, infection can result in hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a type of kidney failure.  Fortunately, most cases are not severe and can clear up with little medical intervention within a week or two.

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