The study investigated an outbreak of E. coli food poisoning last year that was linked to raw flour. The investigators discovered that E. coli is actually far more common than previously believed. The study authors warned:
Our data show that although it is a low-moisture food, raw flour can be a vehicle for foodborne pathogens.”
The symptoms of E. coli typically appear 3 to 4 days after infection and may include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Some patients develop Hemolytic- Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening type of kidney failure.
In June 2016, the outbreak caused 63 people to fall ill with E. coli infections in 24 states. Another 17 people were hospitalized.
General Mills flour was the first brand identified as the potential cause of the E. coli outbreak, so the company recalled Gold Medal, Gold Medal Wondra and Signature Kitchens-brand flour that was produced between November 14, 2015 and February 10 2016.
At least 5 other companies that used General Mills’ recalled flour in their products announced recalls, including Betty Crocker cake mix, Marie Callender’s biscuit mix, and Krusteaz pancake mix.
Dozens of other products were also recalled. For a full list of the recalled products, click here to visit the recall notice published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC warns that eating raw dough can make you sick.
- Flour or raw eggs used to make raw dough or batter might be contaminated.
- Bake items made with raw dough or batter before eating them. Follow the recipe or instructions on the package.
- Do not taste raw dough or batter. Even tasting a small amount could make you sick.