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Robin Hood flour recall expands amid E. coli outbreak

Additional lots of Robin Hood brand flour are under nationwide recall in Canada by Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. Samples of the flour have tested positive for E. coli contamination and victims of a nationwide outbreak have reported having contact with the implicated flour.

recalled Robin Hood flourIn the expanded recall notice, posted Tuesday by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), officials again urged people to check their homes to see if they have the recalled flour on hand. The original recall was posted March 28.

The specific product recalled is Robin Hood “All Purpose Flour, Original” in 10 kilogram bags. Consumers, retailers and restaurant operators can identify the recalled flour by looking for the following codes on the packaging:

  • Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548 that also have  the UPC number 0 59000 01652 8; and
  • Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548 that also have the UPC number 0 59000 01652 8.

Although the food inspection agency recall notice only referenced one reported illnesses, the Public Health Agency of Canada reports 25 E. coli O121 cases across the country.

“There have been 25 cases of E.coli O121 with a matching genetic fingerprint reported in four provinces: British Columbia (12), Saskatchewan (4), Alberta (4) and Newfoundland and Labrador (5). The illness onset dates range from November 2016 to late February 2017. Six individuals have been hospitalized. These individuals have recovered or are recovering” according to the health agency notice. “The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a food recall warning for Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original linked to this outbreak.

“During the food safety investigation, samples of Robin Hood flour were collected and did test positive for E.coli O121. Several individuals who became ill reported having contact with Robin Hood flour. The investigation is ongoing and it is possible that additional products linked to the outbreak investigation may be identified.”

Anyone who has handled the recalled flour or eaten anything made with it and then developed symptoms of E. coli infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen.

“Food contaminated with E. coli O121 may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick,” according to the CFIA recall notice.

“Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhea. In severe cases of illness, some people may have seizures or strokes, need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis or live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.”

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