Pillsbury flour among the brands recalled in multistate E. coli outbreak

National News

(CBS News) — Thousands of cases of Pillsbury flour that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria that has sickened more than a dozen people in eight states is being recalled by Pillsbury owner Hometown Food Co. The recall announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Friday marks the third major flour brand involving wheat from an Archer Daniels Midland mill in Buffalo, New York.

The recall by Hometown Foods involves approximately 4,620 cases of Pillsbury 5-pound Bread Flour distributed to retailers in 10 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. 

Hometown Foods was created last year by the private equity firm Brynwood Partners in acquiring a portfolio of baking brands from the J.M. Smucker Co. for $375 million. Based in Chicago, Hometown’s brands include the U.S. rights to Pillsbury (and use of the famed Pillsbury Doughboy) as well as such baking names as Hungry Jack, Jim Dandy, Martha White and White Lilly.    

Consumers should not consume the recalled Pillsbury flour, but either discard it or return it to the place of purchase for a refund. Hometown said it was also offering replacement coupons for its recalled flour brands to consumers who can call toll-free at (866) 219-9333 between 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Central Time.  

The packaging of the impacted products is marked with UPC Code 0 5150020031 5, and the following lot codes and use-by dates: lot code 8 342, use-by date June 8, 2020; and lot code 8 343, use-by date June 9, 2020.

The Pillsbury recall came a day after King Arthur Flour said it was recalling 14,218 cases of five-pound King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour due to the potential presence of E. coli, the FDA said late Thursday. 

The recalled product was distributed through retailers and distributors nationwide, including Walmart.

King Arthur was told by Archer Daniels Midland that wheat used in the recalled flour had been linked to “an ongoing outbreak of E. coli infections,” King Arthur stated. “No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with King Arthur Flour.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a weekend update said 17 people across eight states reported being sickened after eating flour, including three hospitalizations. Four people sickened reported eating, licking or tasting raw, homemade dough or batter.

Consumers shouldn’t eat raw products made with flour because wheat can carry risks of bacteria, experts say. Baking, frying or boiling will kill the bacteria, but consumers should also wash their hands and wash work surfaces and utensils after they come in contact with raw flour.   

The King Arthur recall involves the following six code lots and three best-used-by dates, located on the bottom side panel, below the nutrition facts panel: 

  • Best used by 12/07/19; lot L18A07C
  • Best used by 12/08/19; lot L18A08A, L18A08B
  • Best used by 12/14/19; lots L18A14A, L18A14B and L18A14C

The King Arthur recall comes nearly three weeks after Aldi recalled Bakers Corner All Purpose Flour, which was sold at stores in 11 states, because of possible E. coli contamination. The five-pound bags of flour should either be discarded or returned to the store for a refund, the company said in a statement.

The flour, made by ADM, was sold in multiple states, including, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.

The recalled Bakers Corner All Purpose Flour has the UPC code 041498130404. The company said those with questions can call ADM Milling Customer Service at 800-422-1688 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central Time.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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