If you have a few bags of all-purpose flour in your pantry, you might want to check them before you start baking: Pillsbury has issued recall on its "Best Unbleached All Purpose Flour" due to concerns over salmonella contamination. The recalled five-pound bags of Pillsbury flour are labeled with a "Best If Used By" date of April 19 and April 20, 2020. So far, there haven't been any illnesses associated with the flour in question, CNN reports.
Shoppers learned about the potential danger from grocery stores in the Southeast, as regional chain Publix was the first to post a recall notice. Retailers Winn-Dixie and Meijer quickly followed with their own recall announcements, listing unique UPC item codes for the recalled flour and offering shoppers a full refund if they returned the item in stores. The potentially harmful flour is marked with two separate lot codes: 8 292 and 8 293, which correlates to around 100,000 bags of flour, according to Consumer Reports. According to Publix, the flour was "distributed through a limited number of retailers and distributors nationwide."
Both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have yet to issue a formal recall notice over the flour. Federal safety agents have taken to social media to warn shoppers of the potential dangers of the tainted flour, instead. It's unclear which retailers have sold the potentially harmful flour in stores across the nation.
This is a good reminder of why you should never eat raw dough when making cookies, etc. Flour, regardless of brand, can contain bacteria that cause disease: https://t.co/uw3TELKXHN https://t.co/JT4IdfCaWX— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) March 11, 2019
Since flour is essentially raw and not treated with any sort of heat sterilization, it can easily become contaminated with bacteria that can cause harmful food-borne illnesses when it's harvested from wheat fields.
Hometown Foods is Pillsbury's parent company, and Dan Anglemyer, its chief operating officer, told Consumer Reports that they're currently working on a press release in coordination with the FDA. "We've been in touch with every direct customer it has gone to," Anglemyer told Consumer Reports. He also shared that customers should immediately dispose of the flour and call the company at 800-767-4466 to receive a free replacement coupon.
If you keep flour in a bulk container in your pantry, and aren't sure if it's the Pillsbury product in question, federal agents are asking that you discard it out of precaution. Be sure to sterilize the container thoroughly as bacteria can transfer on contact. Symptoms of salmonella infection include painful abdominal cramps, high fevers, chills, headaches, vomiting, and chronic diarrhea. According to the CDC, symptoms can manifest within 12 to 72 hours of consumption. Those sickened with salmonella poisoning can remain ill anywhere from four to seven days.