This story was updated on June 17, 2019 to reflect the recall's expansion to include Pillsbury flour.
May 28, 2019 -- Check your pantry: Pillsbury has recalled two lots of its Pillsbury Best bread flour, three days after King Arthur recalled 14,000 cases of unbleached, all-purpose flour and a month after Aldi recalled its Baker’s Corner all-purpose flour. Both products may contain E. coli bacteria.
All three products are sold in 5-pound bags and were milled by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) at its production facility in Buffalo, NY. ADM calls itself “one of the largest producers of private label flour and corn products.”
The FDA says consumers should not use or eat the flour. Throw it away or return it to the store for a refund.
The Aldi flour was distributed in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia. The King Arthur flour was distributed nationwide and includes six lots: L18A07C with best used by date of Dec. 17, 2019; L18A08A and L18A08B with best used by date of Dec. 8, 2019; L18A14A, L18A14B and L18A14C with best used by date of Dec. 14, 2019.
The Pillsbury flour was shipped for sale in 10 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It includes 5 pound bags with lot codes 8 342 and 8 343 with use-by-dates of June 8, 2020 and June 9, 2020.
The strain of E. coli found in the flour is closely related to a bug that has already sickened 17 people in eight states. People started getting sick Dec. 11, 2018. The latest illness in the outbreak was reported on April 18, 2019. King Arthur says no illnesses have been reported from its products, as does Pillsbury parent company Hometown Food Co.
The FDA is working with ADM to determine whether other lots of flour made at the same production facility may also be contaminated and need to be recalled.
Until more is known, as a precaution, they’re reminding everybody -- no matter what kind of flour you have at home -- not to eat raw batter or dough that’s meant to be cooked or baked. Washing hands, utensils, and work surfaces after contact with flour and raw dough can also keep you from getting sick. Keep in mind that flour can easily contaminate your kitchen since it is powdery and spreads easily.
People who get sick from E. coli an average of 3-4 days after eating it. People usually get diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, and vomiting. The diarrhea may be bloody. Most people recover within a week, but sometimes the infection can last longer and be more severe.