Health

Outbreak of E. coli Infections Linked to Flour

On May 23, 2019, ALDI, in association with ADM Milling Co., 5-lb. bags of Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour because they may be contaminated with E. coli. Recalled flour was sold at retail locations in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Consumers should not use any of the recalled flour and should throw recalled flour away.

  • If you stored flour purchased from ALDI in another container without the packaging and don’t remember the brand or “better by” date, throw it away.
  • Consumers should thoroughly wash the containers before using them again.

Eating raw dough can make you sick.

  • Any flour or raw eggs used to make raw dough or batter might be contaminated with harmful germs.
  • In general, bake items made with raw dough or batter before eating them. Follow the recipe or instructions on the package. Do not bake items with recalled flour.
  • Do not taste raw dough or batter. Even tasting a small amount could make you sick.

Clean up thoroughly after baking.

  • Wash any bowls, utensils, and other surfaces that were used when baking with hot water and soap.
  • Wash your hands with water and soap before and after baking.

Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have become ill from eating raw dough.

Restaurants and other retailers should not use, sell or serve any of the recalled flour.

  • If you stored flour purchased from ALDI in another container without the packaging and don’t remember what the brand or “better by” date, throw it away.
  • Restaurants and retailers should thoroughly wash flour storage containers before using them again.

Restaurants and other retailers should always be safe with raw dough.

  • Do not give customers raw dough to play with or eat. It is not safe to eat or play with raw dough, whether made from recalled flour or any other flour.
  • In general, bake items made with raw dough or batter before serving or selling them. Follow the recipe or instructions on the package. Do not bake items with recalled flour.

Latest Outbreak Information

  • Seventeen people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O26 have been reported from 8 states.
    • Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 11, 2018, to April 18, 2019.
    • Three hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates flour is a likely source of this outbreak.
  • On May 23, 2019, ALDI, in association with ADM Milling Co., recalled pdf icon[PDF – 142 KB]external icon 5-lb. bags of Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour sold at retail locations in several states because it may be contaminated with E. coli.
  • This investigation is ongoing. FDA is working to determine whether other brands or lots of flour may be potentially contaminated and need to be recalled. CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

Symptoms of E. coli Infection

  • People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after swallowing the germ.
  • Some people with a STEC infection may get a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
  • E. coli infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample.
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out. Some studies have shown that administering antibiotics to patients with E. coli infections might increase their risk of developing HUS, and a benefit of treatment has not been clearly demonstrated.
  • For more information, see Symptoms of E. coli Infection.

Advice to Clinicians

Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out. Some studies have shown that administering antibiotics to patients with E. coliinfections might increase their risk of developing HUS, and a benefit of treatment has not been clearly demonstrated.

Food Safety Alert from the CDC

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