Almost three weeks after a public health warning about E. coli contamination of Rogers brand flour, the company Rogers Foods Ltd. is recalling the flour from Costco locations in British Columbia.
The recall notice dated June 7 and posted Thursday on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website names the same batch of flour that the British Columbia Center for Disease Control (BCCDC) named in its May 19 public health warning.
That warning came after six people in the province were confirmed infected with the same strain of E. coli O121 that investigators confirmed in a bag of Rogers flour from a victim’s home.
“While it is unknown at this time whether the other ill people consumed the same flour, the BCCDC recommends consumers dispose of Rogers all-purpose flour in a 10kg bag with the lot number MFD 17 Jan 19 C. This flour was available to Costco customers in BC beginning in January 2017,” according to the public health warning.
Because of the long shelf life of flour, there is concern that consumers may have unused portions or unopened bags of it in their homes, according to the CFIA recall notice.
“Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased,” according to the recall notice. “It is not safe to taste or eat raw dough or batter regardless of the type of flour used, as raw flour can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E. coli O121.”
Food contaminated with E. coli O121 may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Anyone who has eaten raw dough or batter made with the recalled flour, or handled the flour, and developed symptoms of E. coli infection should seek medical attention.
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, according to the recall notice.
“This recall was triggered by findings by the CFIA during its investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak. There have been reported illnesses that may be associated with the consumption of this product. Further lab testing is underway to confirm the link,” according to the recall notice.
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