On July 1, 2016, the CDC issued an update to the E. coli outbreak associated with flour produced by General Mills. The updates states that as of June 28, 42 people have been sickened by E. coli bacteria. There have been four more cases of illness since the original announcement in early June. Those sickened in the outbreak reported that their illnesses began between December 21, 2015 and June 8, 2016. Although the case count rests at 42, illnesses that began after June 2nd may not have been reported to the CDC as of yet. This is because it usually takes about 2 to 3 weeks for new cases to be reported to the CDC.
Reports of E. coli poisoning have come from 21 different states. States affected by the outbreak include Alabama with 1 case, Arkansas with 1 case, Arizona with 2 cases, California with 2 cases, Colorado with 4 cases, Iowa with 1 case, Illinois with 4 cases, Indiana with 1 case, Massachusetts with 2 cases, Maryland with 1 case, Michigan with 4 cases, Minnesota with 3 cases, Missouri with 1 case, Montana with 2 cases, New York with 1 case, Oklahoma with 2 cases, Pennsylvania with 2 cases, Texas with 2 cases, VIrginia with 2 cases, Washington with 3 cases, and WIsconsin with 1 case.
The CDC also reported that they have been investigating the outbreak with the help of the FDA. In early June the FDA was able to confirm that General Mills was responsible for the outbreak. This was achieved after samples taken from the home of an ill person in Oklahoma tested positive for the outbreak strain of E. coli. The FDA also got positive test results from samples taken in Colorado and Arizona. Some of the samples that tested positive for E. coli contamination were not included in the May 31, 2016 recall issued by General Mills.
Based on the investigation’s findings, General Mills expanded their recall on July 1, 2016. They added 1 new product to the recall, a 4.25 pound bag of Gold Medal All Purpose Flour. The FDA reports that the recall is being expanded because of illnesses connected to consuming raw dough made with contaminated flour. The FDA has recommended that consumers with recalled flour in their homes dispose of it immediately. They also warn against consuming raw dough, as it may still contain E. coli bacteria. A full list of recalled products can be found here.
Consuming products containing contaminated General Mills flour may lead to and E. coli infection. Usually, the symptoms associated with E. coli poisoning appear between 12 and 72 hours after infection. An E. coli infection will typically cause symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. E. coli infections may clear up on their own, but also have the risk of becoming a severe infection. An E. coli infection may produce a condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS causes damage to red blood cells, which are then filtered out of the bloodstream by the kidneys. This process can damage the kidneys and may even result in kidney failure.
If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of E. coli poisoning, contact a medical professional. If you are diagnosed with E. coli poisoning after consuming products containing recalled flour, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses. At Merman Law Firm, our lawyers have years of experience in food poisoning cases, and will work hard to recover any losses you may have incurred from lost wages, medical bills, pain, and suffering. If you think you may have a case, fill out our free evaluation form.