After initially expanding their recall last month to include more products, King Arthur has shared that it is recalling even more five-pound bags of its flour than originally planned due to potential E. coli contamination. The company says that it will recall another three lots of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour due to the fact that some of the lot codes for affected products were omitted from the original announcement, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
"King Arthur Flour Inc. was notified by ADM Milling Co. that three additional product lot codes of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour were omitted from the the original they provided for the press release on Oct. 3, 2019," the FDA's recall notice says. "As stated in the prior release, we have undertaken this voluntary recall because of the potential presence of E. coli 026."
In addition to the original lot's recalled lot codes, shoppers need to check their stores for recently added "best-by" dates and lot codes that include December 9, 2019 (lots L18A09A and L18A09C) as well as January 8, 2020 (lot A19A08A). While King Arthur says it hasn't received any reports of illness thus far, it says consumers should continue to check their flour stores for any affected products (the full list of tainted flour is on the FDA's website in its entirety). If you happen to have one of the bags of recalled flour, simply return it to the store you purchased it from or visit King Arthur's recall portal online—alternatively, you can call the King Arthur flour consumer hotline at 866-797-9178.
Be sure to thoroughly disinfect the area where the flour was stored afterwards, even if it the bag was sealed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises cleaning surfaces and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough or flour, as bacteria can spread upon contact.
The original story, published October 4, 2019, continues below:
Cavan Images via Getty Images
Back in June, just before Father's Day, the nationwide flour distributor King Arthur announced a voluntary recall due to possible E. coli bacterial contamination in certain bulk bags of its unbleached all-purpose flour. More than 14,000 cases had been distributed at the time to retailers across the country. Now safety officials at the Food and Drug Administration say that further product sampling has resulted in positive traces of E. coli bacteria in additional batches of flour, meaning that the flour brand is once again asking customers to check their stockpiles out of caution.
According to a safety notice posted by the FDA, the flour was produced prior to February 2019 in Buffalo, New York, before it was distributed to grocery stores across the nation; the product in question is packaged in 5-pound and 25-pound bags. The extra-large bulk bags were sold in Costco stores as early as April, the FDA reports, and is marked with best-by dates that range from December 2019 through January 2020.
The five-pound bags had similar expiration dates, but officials are asking shoppers to confirm their risk by checking the flour's lot codes, which can be found near it's barcode information. For a full list of impacted lot codes, read the FDA's recall notice here.
Safety officials advise against consuming products made with raw flour; E. coli bacteria is only killed off after proper baking, frying, sautéing, or boiling takes place, and incorporating flour into an otherwise raw dish can put you at higher risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of E. coli poisoning include severe abdominal pain and chronic diarrhea that can manifest itself within 72 hours of exposure. You should seek medical attention if you have consumed the tainted flour recently, but most shoppers will simply be able to return it to the store where it was purchased for a full refund.