- Sydney Kramer/INSIDER
- General Mills is recalling five-pound bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached Flour due to salmonella concerns.
- Experts say that in order to avoid the risk of salmonella and E.coli, people should never eat flour before it is baked or heated in some way.
- The recall comes in the midst of the federal government shutdown, which has sparked food-safety concerns.
General Mills is recalling flour due to salmonella concerns.
On Wednesday, General Mills announced a national recall of five-pound bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached Flour. The affected bags have a better-if-used-by date of April 20, 2020.
“Food safety is our top priority, and though we have not had any confirmed illnesses, we are voluntarily recalling this specific lot of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour to prevent potential illnesses,” Jim Murphy, president of General Mills’ meals and baking division, said in a statement.
“This recall does not involve any other flour products, and we are continuing to educate consumers that flour is not a ‘ready to eat’ ingredient,'” Murphy continued. “Anything you make with flour must be cooked or baked before eating.”
The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control advise against consuming any raw products made with uncooked flour, such as unbaked cookie dough. In 2016, at least 63 people were sickened in 24 states in an E. coli outbreak linked to flour.
The recall comes in the midst of a federal government shutdown that has stretched into its 34th day. Many food-safety inspections have been suspended during the shutdown, while other inspectors are working without pay, sparking food-safety concerns.
Food-poisoning attorney Bill Marler says that General Mills’ recall cannot be linked to the shutdown, as the potentially contaminated flour was caught by the company in testing prior to any reported illnesses occurring. However, he warns that if the shutdown continues, the chance of inspectors missing something that could be dangerous is on the rise.
“The longer this thing limps along, the longer this will be a problem,” he told Business Insider on Thursday.