July 1, 2016 (Update): Multistate Outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 Infections Linked to Flour

image of bowl of flour
  • Read the Recall & Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, and Retailers>>
  • CDC, multiple states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) infections.
    • Forty-two people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O121 have been reported from 21 states.
    • Eleven ill people have been hospitalized. No one has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicate that flour produced at the General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri is a likely source of this outbreak.
    • On May 31, 2016, General Mills recalled several sizes and varieties of Gold Medal Flour, Gold Medal Wondra Flour, and Signature Kitchens Flour due to possible E. coli contamination.
  • In late June 2016, FDA isolated STEC O121 from samples of General Mills flour collected from the homes of ill people in Arizona, and Oklahoma. The flour collected in Oklahoma was not included in the initial General Mills recall.
    • In response to these laboratory findings, on July 1, 2016 General Mills expanded the recall to include additional lots of flour under the same brands from the initial recall.
    • In early June, FDA laboratory testing isolated the outbreak strain of STEC O121 from an open sample of General Mills flour collected from the home of an ill person in Colorado. The flour came from a lot included in the initial recall.
    • A list of the recalled flours and how to identify them is available on the Advice to Consumers page.
  • CDC recommends that consumers, restaurants, and retailers do not use, serve, or sell the recalled flours.
  • Do not eat raw dough or batter, whether made from recalled flour or any other flour. Flour or other ingredients used to make raw dough or batter might be contaminated.
    • Consumers should bake items made with raw dough or batter before eating them. Do not taste raw dough or batter.
    • Restaurants and retailers should not serve raw dough to customers or allow children and other guests to play with raw dough.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and we will update the public when more information becomes available.