Recalled General Mills flour linked to an ongoing E. coli outbreak has spurred yet another secondary product recall — this time it’s Marie Callender’s cheese biscuit mix. The International Commissary Corp. (ICC) distributed the biscuit mix to retailers in Alabama, California, Washington, Utah and Texas, according to the recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration website. “Consumers who have purchased any of the recalled products are urged to throw them away. Retailers who received the recalled products are being contacted. FDA and the Centers for Disease Control warn that consumers should refrain from consuming any raw products made with flour,” according to the recall notice. “ICC was notified by a supplier that an ingredient contains flour which was recalled by General Mills because it may be contaminated with E. coli O121. We are unaware of any illnesses to date from the recalled Marie Callender Cheese Biscuit Mix products.” While there are no confirmed illnesses connected to the biscuit mix, 42 people in 21 states have been confirmed to have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli that has been found in the recalled General Mills flour, the CDC reported July 1. The recalled Marie Callender’s cheese biscuit mix can be identified by the best-by dates on the product labels:
- 7-ounce packages with best-by dates of March 22, 2017, and May 17, 2017; and
- 14-ounce boxes with the best-by date of June 17, 2017.
“The quality of Marie Callender’s products and the safety of our customers are the upmost important issues,” ICC vice president of sales Kevin Greene said in the recall notice. “We are working with our retail customers and the FDA to ensure any affected product is removed from the marketplace immediately. Consumers and media with questions can contact Joanna Fraire at 408-792-3123, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific (time) or at Joanna@commissary.com.” Anyone who has eaten or handled the recalled biscuit mix and developed symptoms of E. coli infection should immediately see a doctor for testing. Symptoms usually develop three to four days after exposure, according to CDC, but may begin as soon as one day or as late as 10 days. The symptoms often begin slowly with belly pain or diarrhea that can be bloody and that worsens over several days. The very young, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. “Around 5 percent to 10 percent of those who are diagnosed with (E. coli) infection develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS),” according to CDC. “Persons with HUS should be hospitalized because their kidneys may stop working and they may develop other serious problems. Most persons with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent damage or die.” (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)