Although the company did not specify the ingredient or name the supplier, Molly & Drew has recalled some of its beer bread mix sold nationwide at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations because of possible E. coli contamination. The Sac City, IA, bread company posted the recall on its blog June 17, warning consumers to not use its American Original Beer Bread mix because it might contain E. coli O121. E. coli O121 is the pathogen responsible for an ongoing outbreak linked to General Mills flour that has sickened at least 38 people in 20 states since late December 2015. Federal officials have confirmed the outbreak strain of E. coli O121 in a bag of General Mills flour from an outbreak victim’s home. “Molly & Drew is initiating this recall because we were notified by one of our suppliers that they were conducting a recall of an ingredient used in our mix for the potential presence of E. coli O121,” according to the recall notice, which is also posted on the Food and Drug Administration website. “It is important to note that to date no Molly & Drew product has been linked to any illness or been shown to have any presence of E. coli. …If you have the affected retail product, do not use it and throw it in the garbage.” Calls to Molly & Drew offices late this afternoon went to voicemail and were not immediately returned. General Mills Inc. and FDA officials similarly were not available to immediately respond to requests for comment. The beer bread mix recall is limited to three lots that were distributed only to Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations. No other retailers and no online customers received the recalled lots. Consumers can identify the recalled Molly & Drew American Original Beer Bread mix by its 19.75-ounce red bag and the following label information:
- UPC number 855290003008;
- Item number BB100;
- Best by date of January 2018; and
- Lot any one of these three lot numbers — L1215A, L1215B or L1215C.
General Mills announced its recall of 10 million pounds of flour sent to grocery retailers and restaurants on May 31, about a month after officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a link between E. coli patients and raw dough containing flour. Status of bulk flour recall unknown Initially, neither General Mills nor FDA officials revealed that flour from the recalled production run at a plant in Kansas City, MO, has also been distributed to General Mills corporate trading partners — including food producers — in bulk quantities until Food Safety News specifically asked about such distribution. FDA and General Mills officials said in early June that the general public did not need to be notified about the bulk flour shipments because the product was not available for sale to consumers in that format and was not identifiable to consumers. The government and General Mills declined to reveal what food producers received bulk shipments of the recalled flour, saying the information was proprietary corporate material. An FDA spokeswoman as well as a General Mills spokesman said the agency and company were working together to make sure the flour was recovered. At that time, General Mills’ spokesman said the company did not believe any of the recall flour had been used to produce any baking mixes. The General Mills recall notice on the FDA website lists the three brands of flour and identifying label information that consumers can use to determine if they have the product in their homes. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)