The recall, announced January 23, only applies to five-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour with a better if used by date of April 20, 2020 and a UPC code of 000-16000-19610-0.
General Mills assures consumers that no other types of its flour have been affected.
“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,” said Jim Murphy, president of the General Mills Meals and Baking Division, in a statement.
He reminded people that “flour is not a ‘ready to eat’ ingredient” and that because salmonella is killed by heat, “anything you make with flour must be cooked or baked before eating.”
The company’s statement also explains that “flour is made from wheat that is grown outdoors where bacteria are often present.” Since the flour isn’t treated to remove those pathogens during the standard milling process, raw flour can contain harmful bacteria like salmonella.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of salmonella can include nausea, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. In some cases, the bacteria can also get into the bloodstream, leading to more severe and dangerous illnesses.
For this reason, the CDC warns parents not to let kids taste uncooked dough and to thoroughly clean all surfaces, utensils, and even hands that come in contact with raw flour.
The FDA is advising anyone who has this specific product to throw it away immediately. Customers can then receive a replacement coupon by contacting General Mills Consumer Relations at 1-800-230-8103 or by visiting GeneralMills.com/Flour.