The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is advising consumers that ADM Milling Co. and ALDI have recalled five-pound bags of Bakers Corner All Purpose Flour sold at retail locations in the northeastern United States because it may be contaminated with E. coli.
This is an update to a previous press announcement made by RIDOH. On May 22nd, RIDOH advised people to not eat flour from five-pound bags of Bakers Corner All Purpose Flour with lot code L18A02B and a "best if used by" date of December 02, 2019. This product was sourced from an ADM Milling Co. production facility in Buffalo, N.Y. and was distributed to select ALDI stores in 11 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia. The Bakers Corner All Purpose Flour affected by the ADM Milling Co. recall is sold in a 5 lb. bag with the following UPC code: 041498130404. Out of an abundance of caution, ALDI has recalled all "best if used by" dates and all lots of Bakers Corner All Purpose Flour products produced by ADM Milling Co. in Buffalo, N.Y. from store shelves in these states. People are now advised to not consume this flour.
This advisory has been expanded because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multi-state outbreak of E. coli infections likely linked to flour. Seventeen cases have been reported in eight states, including one case in Rhode Island.
Investigators with RIDOH's Center for Food Protection collected records and flour samples at a bakery where an ill person reported eating raw dough. Records indicated that the bakery used Bakers Corner All Purpose Flour from ALDI. The outbreak strain was isolated at the RIDOH State Health Laboratories from an unopened bag of Bakers Corner All Purpose Flour collected at the bakery. Whole genome sequencing results showed that the E. coli strain identified in the Bakers Corner All Purpose Flour sample was closely related genetically to the E. coli strain identified in ill people in several states. The food source of the E.coli strain cultured from the remaining cases remains under investigation.
The symptoms of E. coli infections vary among people but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. People usually get sick 3 to 4 days after swallowing the germ. Most people recover within a week. However, some people may develop a serious type of illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can result in kidney failure, stroke, and even death. Young children, elderly people, individuals who are immunocompromised, and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to foodborne illness. Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician.
Consumers are reminded to not consume any raw products made with flour. Flour is an ingredient that comes from milling wheat, something grown outdoors that carries with it risks of bacteria which are rendered harmless by baking, frying, or boiling. Consumers are reminded to wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough products or flour, and to never eat raw dough or batter. More information about the risks of consuming raw dough is online at https://www.cdc.gov/features/no-raw-dough/index.html.