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General Mills Announces Flour Recall Amid E.Coli Outbreak

Posted on in Food Poisoning
General Mills Announces Flour Recall Amid E.Coli Outbreak

In late May 2016, General Mills issued a recall for some of its flour products, citing concerns that they could be contaminated with E.Coli bacteria. This came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracked 38 instances of illness related to E.Coli O121, a specific strain of the bacteria. These instances occurred in 20 states between December 2015 and May 2016. Approximately half of the affected individuals who were investigated linked their illness to homemade baked goods, some of whom used General Mills flour. Thus, the company took this step as a precaution to prevent more consumers from becoming ill.

When a company's product is linked with food poisoning, it can be very difficult for the company's reputation to recover. How well a company recovers from such a report depends on the steps it takes to address and correct the situation. For example, after being linked to various food poisoning outbreaks last year, fast casual eatery Chipotle made significant, publicized changes to how its employees handle food and utensils in stores. By issuing a recall, General Mills is being proactive about protecting its consumers and showing that it cares about their health.

How E.Coli Reaches Flour

Flour is made from ground wheat, which is grown outdoors. In this environment, the wheat comes into contact with many outside bodies, such as other plants, animals, and insects. When the wheat is harvested and sent to be made into flour, it comes into contact with multiple human hands and pieces of equipment. This is not the end of the production line for the wheat. Once it is made into flour, it is packaged and sent to distribution centers, from which is it sent to retailers. During this journey from wheat field to supermarket shelf, there are many opportunities for harmful bacteria to contaminate the product.

Symptoms of E.Coli Poisoning

The symptoms that an individual suffering from E.Coli poisoning can exhibit are similar to the symptoms associated with other types of food poisoning. They include the following:

  • Fatigue;
  • Nausea;
  • Fever;
  • Gas; and
  • Abdominal cramping.

In rare instances, E.Coli victims vomit. Another symptom associated with E.Coli poisoning is severe, watery diarrhea. This can become bloody. In severe cases, E.Coli poisoning can lead to kidney failure. Although E.Coli poisoning can be treated with home remedies and generally subsides within a few days, it can become serious and require medical attention. If you experience bloody stools or a worsened condition after a few days, seek medical care.

Work with a Waukegan Food Poisoning Attorney

If you or a loved one suffer from food poisoning after consuming a packaged product, such as flour or raw dough, you can potentially seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about your rights as a food poisoning victim, contact an experienced Waukegan food poisoning attorney at Newland & Newland, LLP to set up your initial legal consultation in our Chicago office. We serve clients in Arlington Heights, Libertyville , Waukegan, Itasca, and Chicago.

(photo courtesy of Max Straeten)

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