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Flour Products Suspected of Bacteria Issue

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This 2006 colorized scanning electron micrograph image made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the O157:H7 strain of the E. coli bacteria.
This 2006 colorized scanning electron micrograph image made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the O157:H7 strain of the E. coli bacteria.

American food product manufacturer General Mills has recalled about 4.5 million kilograms of flour.

General Mills announced the flour recall because of a possible link to E. coli infections in 20 states, reported the Associated Press.

Escherichia coli are bacteria found in the environment. The bacteria are often harmless. But some stronger forms of E. coli can make people sick. They can cause diarrhea and dehydration.

The company’s recall was announced on May 31. In the United States, a food recall means that inspectors identified one or more problems with a product.

The General Mills recall is for several kinds of Gold Medal and Signature Kitchens flour. Those products were sold at Safeway, Albertsons and other stores.

Much of the recalled flour was produced at the company’s factory in Kansas City, Missouri, the AP said.

General Mills said E. coli has not been found in any of its flour products. The company said it is still recalling the flour out of “an abundance of caution.”

The company said 38 people became sick from the middle of December through May 3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that half of the people used flour before getting sick.

Some of the flour used was a General Mills brand. Those getting sick may have also eaten uncooked dough or batter, the company said.

It said people should not eat uncooked dough or batter. General Mills urged people to wash their hands and work surfaces after contact with such products.

I’m Dorothy Gundy.

The Associated Press reported this story. Jim Dresbach adapted the report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

recalln. a request by a company for people to return a product that has a defect or problem

flourn. powder made from a grain (especially wheat) that is used in cooking for making bread and cakes

E. colin. a kind of bacteria that is sometimes in food and water and that can make people sick

diarrhea – n. an illness that causes you to pass waste from your body very frequently and in liquid rather than solid form

dehydration – n. the process of removing water or moisture from the body

abundance – n. a large amount of something

doughn. a mixture of flour, water and other ingredients that is baked to make bread and cookies

battern. a mixture of different ingredients (such as flour, sugar, eggs and oil) that is cooked and eaten

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