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The FDA announced the recall of General Mills’ 5 lb. bags of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour with a better-if-used-by date of April 20, 2020. Routine sampling of the flour revealed the presence of salmonella. General Mills shipped the contaminated flour nationwide.

About Salmonella

Gold Medal Flour RecallSalmonella Honey SmacksSalmonella infection (salmonellosis) is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. The bacteria usually live in animal and human intestines and shed through feces. Consuming contaminated water or food spreads the infection to humans. Symptoms last two to seven days. Diarrhea may last up to 10 days, however, it may take several months before bowels return to normal. However, salmonella can develop into typhoid fever. This is a deadly disease. About 300 people get typhoid fever in the United States each year. About 22 million cases of typhoid fever and 200,000 related deaths occur worldwide each year.

Gold Medal Flour Recall

Manufacturer product testing found samples of Gold Medal Flour contaminated with salmonella. Nearly 100,000 products shipped nationwide could contain the dangerous bacteria.  The FDA has not received any reported illnesses, yet. However, the agency advises discarding the product immediately. General Mills will give customers a replacement coupon.
However, this isn’t General Mills’ first Gold Medal Flour recall. In 2016, the company issued a much larger recall on multiple types of Gold Medal flour, after dozens of people were sickened from E. coli. Both recalls originated at General Mills’ Kansas City manufacturing facility.

Staying Safe

Flour is a raw agricultural product. Because of this, it carries a risk of contamination with foodborne pathogens. Research indicates that flour contamination often starts in the grain fields. Salmonella and E. coli, pathogens found in animal feces, can end up on grains through a variety of means. These ways include wildlife defecating on farm soil or also livestock waste tainting irrigation water. Consuming any kind of raw flour could lead to significant illness. The baking process is typically adequate to kill foodborne pathogens including salmonella and E. coli, assuming the baked good reaches an internal temperature of roughly 160° F. This is why the FDA warns against consuming raw dough or batter under any circumstance.

If Injured by the Outbreak

Sickle Cell DiseaseFood poisoning lawsuits play an important role in keeping food systems safe. These lawsuits hold negligent corporations accountable. Plus, it shows lawmakers that food safety is imperative.  When outbreaks caused by bacteria or viruses injure people, most of the time it is from a manufacturer being negligent. The company is fully aware of their potentially dangerous practices and do not correct it. Thus, customers’ lives are endangered.

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