Food & Drink

Flour sold nationwide, by Walmart among others, recalled for E. coli. More to come?

Here’s what you need to know about E. coli

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King Arthur Flour recalled 14,218 cases of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour in 5-pound bags on Thursday because the flour might have E. coli.

The flour’s potential problem comes from the wheat used by ADM Milling, which made the wheat used in the Baker’s Corner All-Purpose Flour that supermarket chain Aldi recalled May 23. That was after the CDC linked it to an E. coli outbreak that sickened 17 people in California, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

“King Arthur has been informed by ADM Milling Co. that certain wheat used to make these lots of King Arthur flour has been linked to an ongoing outbreak of E. coli infections,” the King Arthur-written, FDA-posted recall notice says. “No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with King Arthur flour.”

But the question is how many other customers of the milling giant have flour or food products made from that wheat?

“This recall is part of the scope of the recall ADM announced on May 23, 2019,” an ADM spokesperson emailed the Miami Herald. “As ADM continues to investigate the situation with regulators, customers of retail flour that are potentially affected have been notified.”

As for which customers those would be beyond Aldi and King Arthur, ADM has yet to answer. There are three lot Nos. -- L18A04, L18A05, L18A06 -- between the two in the Baker’s Corner recall and the lowest lot number in the King Arthur recall. ADM hasn’t answered if those lot Nos. went to other companies besides Aldi and King Arthur.

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The King Arthur recall covers just the Unbleached All-Purpose Flour in 5-pound bags, lot No. L18A07C with a best by date of 12/07/19; lot Nos. L18A08A and L18A08B, best by 12/08/19; and lot Nos. L18A14A, L18A14B and L18A14C, best by 12/14/19.

The flour was sold by retailers, such as Walmart, which posted a link to the announcement on its website, but not through King Arthur’s website or Baker’s Store in Vermont.

Anyone with these products should throw them out or return them for a refund. Any food containers or surfaces the flour has touched should be washed thoroughly and sanitized if possible.

E. coli can cause bloody diarrhea, but its real danger is in the form of kidney failure hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS can be fatal.

Anyone with questions about this recall can call King Arthur at 866-797-9178.

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