It seems that flour recalls are on the rise this year. Gold Medal was recalled back in January, and Pillsbury joined the recall roster in May. Both brands were pulled from store shelves due to salmonella concerns, but Gold Medal flour isn’t off the hot seat just yet.
General Mills and the FDA announced a recall for Gold Medal flour on September 16 due to an E. coli risk. The recall affects grocery stores (and kitchens) nationwide. You can find the company’s full statement on the FDA website.
What products are recalled?
Interestingly, the flour affected is the same variety and size as mentioned in the last Gold Medal recall. You’ll want to be on the lookout for five-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour. Other Gold Medal products, like whole wheat flour, are perfectly safe to eat.
The flour recall was announced out of an abundance of caution after traces of E. coli were found during testing. Fortunately, no illnesses have been reported in relation to Gold Medal. General Mills and the FDA urge consumers to take a look through their cupboards, just in case the contaminated flour may be hiding in the back. If you find a bag, stop baking with it immediately.
Psst: This kind of contamination is only one of the reasons you shouldn’t eat raw cookie dough.
How do I know if I have one of these products?
If you have a five-pounder of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour in your pantry, take a look at the numbers usually stamped on the back of the package. Keep an eye out for the UPC number 016000 196100. You’ll also want to check the Better if Used by date, which will be printed September 6, 2020 or 06SEP2020KC. Finding either of these numbers is cause enough to toss the flour.
If you keep your Gold Medal flour in a container and aren’t sure of the UPC code or Better if Used by date, you’ll want to throw that out as well. Make sure you thoroughly wash the container with soap and hot water to banish any bacteria that may be sticking around.
I have this flour! What should I do with it?
General Mills advises consumers to throw the contaminated flour out as soon as possible. Grocery stores will not be taking returns, but General Mills is taking calls from customers who already had to throw out their products. You’ll want to get in touch with Gold Medal for a refund or replacement. You can reach them at all hours at 1-800-230-8103.
How can I avoid E. coli?
To avoid sickness caused by E. coli, make sure you keep clean in the kitchen. Any utensil that comes in contact with raw meat or flour needs to be thoroughly washed with soap and water. Always wash your hands after handling raw meat. E. coli can be cooked out of flour with the right amount of heat; however, when you see a recall for flour, your best option is to throw it out. Make sure your counters are wiped clean after baking, and don’t ever consume raw flour. Here are a few more tips to help protect your family from E. coli.
If you have consumed Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour and are experiencing symptoms of an E. coli infection, talk to a health professional immediately.