More than 12,000 cases of Pillsbury brand flour have been recalled due to a potential Salmonella contamination, Food Safety News reported Sunday.
The recall was first announced Friday night on the websites of Publix and Winn-Dixie, two grocery stores that carried the product. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) then tweeted out a recall notice Monday.
The recall was issued voluntarily by Pillsbury owner Hometown Food Company and affects around 12,185 cases of Pillsbury Unbleached All Purpose Flour with lot codes of 8 292 and a best-by date of April 19, 2020 or 8 293 and a best-by date of April 20, 2020, CNN reported.
“Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase for a refund,” Publix wrote in a recall notice reported by Food Safety News.
Neither grocery store’s recall notice mentioned how or when the flour became contaminated. The Winn-Dixie announcement said that there had been no reports of illness associated with the product so far.
Hometown Food Company bought Pillsbury’s baking and desserts product in September, 2018, USA Today reported.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used the recall as a teachable moment on the dangers of eating uncooked flour.
It retweeted the recall with a link to an article on the dangers of raw dough. Most customers think that eating dough is dangerous because of the presence of uncooked eggs, but the FDA explained that flour itself can be contaminated.
“Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” senior advisor in FDA’s Office of Food Safety Leslie Smoot, Ph.D. said. If animals relieve themselves in a field, for example, nothing has been done to the flour between harvesting and purchase to kill those bacteria.
In 2016, dozens of people learned this the hard way when they came down with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121. The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local authorities investigated the outbreak and identified the bacterium making people sick in flour that had been used in dough eaten raw by some of the patients. In the end, ten million pounds of flour were recalled, the FDA said.
If you love cookie-dough ice cream, don’t worry; the FDA says that commercial brands should be made with treated flour and pasteurized eggs.