An Illinois company has launched a recall of an unrevealed volume of all-purpose flour because test results showed contamination with E. coli O157:H7. Hodgson Mill distributed the flour nationwide.

The recalled flour was milled at an ADM Milling facility in St. Louis and repacked at a Hodgson Mill Inc. facility in Effingham, IL, according to the company’s recall notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration. The implicated 5-pound bags of flour went to retailers and distributors nationwide and were also sold online.

ADM Milling flour has been involved in a number of recalls this year.

Consumers who have purchased 5-pound packages of Hodgson Mill brand “Unbleached All-Purpose White Wheat Flour” with certain lot codes are urged to stop using the product immediately and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund, the company notice says.

To determine whether they have the recalled flour in their homes, consumers should look for the following label information:

  • UPC 0-71518-05009-2
  • Best By Date 10-01-2020 and 10-02-2020
  • Lot# 001042 & 005517

Use-by and lot code information can be found on the bottom back panel of the bags. Used-by dates and lot codes, along with their location on the bag, must all match in order to represent flour affected by this recall, according to the Hodgson Mill recall notice.

If consumers have Hodgson Mill flour that is not in its original packaging or that cannot be identified using the label information, they should throw it out. Any containers used to hold the recalled Hodgson Mill flour should be throughly washed.

The flour company urged consumers to practice home food safety to avoid food poisoning from raw flour.

“Consumer safety is our top priority. Hodgson Mill package states ‘do not eat raw flour, dough or batter.’ The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns consumers to not consume raw flour or uncooked raw dough,” the recall notice states.

“We are taking this voluntary precautionary step because of the potential presence of pathogenic E. coli which was discovered through sampling raw uncooked flour. Hodgson Mill has not received any confirmed reports of illnesses related to this product.

“Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician.”

The flour company also told consumers to wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough products or flour.

Consumers with questions may contact the company customer service at 1-888-417-9343 Ext. 1.

About E. coli infections
Anyone who has eaten any of the implicated product and developed symptoms of E. coli infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctor about their possible exposure to the bacteria. Specific tests are required to diagnose the infections, which can mimic other illnesses.

The symptoms of E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Some patients may also have a fever. Most patients recover within five to seven days. Others can develop severe or life-threatening symptoms and complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About 5 to 10 percent of those diagnosed with E. coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening kidney failure complication, known as a hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, feeling very tired, decreased frequency of urination, small unexplained bruises or bleeding, and pallor.

Many people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent injuries or death. This condition can occur among people of any age but is most common in children younger than five years old because of their immature immune systems, older adults because of deteriorating immune systems, and people with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients.

People who experience HUS symptoms should immediately seek emergency medical care. People with HUS will likely be hospitalized because the condition can cause other serious and ongoing problems such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, brain damage, and neurologic problems.

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