Massive Flour Recall Issued Over Potential E. Coli Contamination
The holidays are nigh, which means it's the season for baking, baking, and more baking. 'Tis also the season, then, for stocking up on flour. But if you bought a bag recently, your pantry may be in peril.
Both Hodgson Mill and Wild Harvest Flour issued voluntary recalls, via the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), of their flour on November 27, 2019, due to E. Coli positively appearing in their products. Each company's affected products have shipped nationally, prompting a nationwide recall. The contamination affects five-pound bags of Hodgson Mill All-Purpose White Wheat Flour and five-pound bags of Wild Harvest Organic All-Purpose Flour, Unbleached. No other product from either company has been affected by the recall.
The affected flours are sold at big-box retailers across the country, so if you picked up baking goods at any large retailer lately, you should, at the very least, check your labels. To see if your product is included in the recall, you just need to pinpoint when the flour was produced by checking the bag's UPC code and "Best By" date.
For Hodgson Mill flour, check for a UPC code of 0-71518-05009-2 with a "Best By" date of October 1, 2020, or October 2, 2020. Lot codes that include 001042 and 005517 are also part of the recalled batch.
Affected Wild Harvest flour contains the UPC code 711535509158 with a "Best By" date of January 8, 2020. This specific product lacks a lot code, so if your flour has the above indicators, you should throw it out. Better safe than sorry!
If you have an affected Hodgson Mill product, you can return the flour to the place of purchase for a full refund. Wild Harvest recommends throwing the contaminated product directly in the trash, and is currently not advertising any refund policies.
To prevent E. Coli contamination, make sure to wipe down your counters thoroughly. And if you believe yourself to be affected, keep an eye out for the symptoms of E. Coli, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, include diarrhea, vomiting, and major cramps. Symptoms pop up usually two to five days after ingestion. Of course, if you suspect you're infected, visit a medical professional as soon as possible. And for a look back on other recalls, see The 11 Most Heartbreaking Food Recalls of All Time.