A well-known cause of food-borne illness is the E. coli bacteria, usually associated with moist foods, such as meat or bagged salad leaves. In solving a food illness mystery of 2016, researchers determined that Shiga-producing E. coil bacteria can survive in raw flour, an arid host, according to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Federal health officials closed their investigation into foodborne illnesses linked to wheat flour milled by General Mills with a renewed warning to consumers to look for, and discard, packages of flour covered by the recall. "Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to use these recalled flour products and potentially get sick," said FDA.
For the fourth time since May 31, General Mills expanded its recall of flour because of illnesses linked to handling or eating uncooked flour dough and batter. The company said E. coli bacteria, which can cause food-borne illness, "has been detected in a small number of ... flour samples and some have been linked to new patient illnesses that fall outside of the previously recalled dates."
Dozens of people across the country have become ill by eating raw dough contaminated with a strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, the FDA said. The doughs had been made with General Mills flour produced in a Kansas City, Missouri, facility.