Salmonella outbreak linked to Gold Medal flour reaches California

Gold Medal flour.
(U.S. Food and Drug Administration )
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A salmonella outbreak that has affected a dozen states, including California, has been linked to Gold Medal flour — prompting a nationwide recall of some of the popular brand’s products, federal health officials said Monday.

The recall includes 5- and 10-pound bags of Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour, as well as 2- and 5-pound bags of bleached all-purpose flour, with “better if used by” dates of March 27, 2024, and March 28, 2024, according to a statement from parent company General Mills.

Consumers should “check their pantries and dispose of the product affected by this recall,” said the statement, which was posted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website. Those who have to throw products away can contact the company’s consumer relations department at (800) 230-8103.

Investigators identified flour as the source of the outbreak using laboratory data and interviews with those who had become sick, according to an alert from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The FDA located the outbreak strain of the salmonella bacteria at a General Mills facility in Missouri.


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Federal health officials have confirmed 13 infections, with three people falling ill enough that they had to be hospitalized. But “the true number of sick people is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreaks may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” the CDC said in a food safety alert.

Aside from California, salmonella cases linked to this outbreak have been found in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Oregon.

Those who purchased flour affected by the recall should throw it away or return it, according to the CDC. Consumers should also thoroughly wash any surfaces or implements that came into contact with the product.

“If you stored recalled flour in another container, throw the flour away and wash the container thoroughly with warm water and soap before using it again,” the CDC said.

Symptoms of salmonella can develop six hours to six days after exposure and include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Illness can last four to seven days.

Some people may develop symptoms that require hospitalization, as the bacteria can move from the intestines into the blood and elsewhere in the body, the CDC said. Most people, however, recover without needing to seek professional care.


Those at higher risk of more severe disease include children younger than 5, adults age 65 and up, and immunocompromised individuals, the CDC said.