In a January 23, 2019, press release, food retailer General Mills issued a voluntary, nationwide recall on five-pound bags of Gold Medal unbleached flour due to potential salmonella contamination identified during a recent sampling. The company noted that only bags with "better if used by" dates of April 20, 2020, are affected by the recall, and it urged customers to discard any potentially dangerous flour in their pantries. So far, General Mills has not received any reports of confirmed illness, and the recall is bein issued out of an "abundance of care."
"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 General Mills Meals and Baking Division, in the release.
In his statement, Murphy also noted that "flour is not a 'ready to eat' ingredient." According to the Food and Drug Administration, uncooked flour can contain bacteria, such as E. coli or, in the case of this latest recall, salmonella. Cooking foods that have flour in them is the only way to make sure that these bacteria are killed.
According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of salmonella include cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. While most otherwise healthy people recover quickly, the illness can cause dehydration or other serious medical complications. The FDA notes that in 2016, General Mills faced a similar flour recall after E. coli was discovered in the brand's flour. Over the course of the outbreak, 63 people in 24 states were infected with the bacteria.
If you have to discard any flour in the recall, you can contact General Mills Consumer Relations for a replacement coupon at 1-800-230-8103 or through a form on the company's website.