The Latest Salmonella Recall Is Coming For Your Flour

Unfortunately for home bakers, flour is one of the foods that are most likely to be recalled due to the fact it doesn't undergo any heat treatment or sterilization process between being milled and being sold to consumers, per Bio Expert. According to Food Business News, General Mills recalled its Gold Medal bleached and unbleached flours on April 28, 2023, due to potential Salmonella contamination. The recall affects flours sold in 2 lb, 5 lb, and 10 lb bags with best-by dates of March 27 or 28, 2024.

According to the CDC, 13 people became ill from the flour as of May 1, 2023, with three hospitalized. However, the CDC's investigation also states that it's very likely many other people have been affected and haven't reported it. Likewise, in some cases, it can take 3 to 4 weeks to determine whether someone has been impacted. At the time of writing, cases have been reported in 12 states: Oregon, California, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey. However, the potential Salmonella contamination could be present in more states depending on where the affected bags of Gold Medal flour were sold.

Recall or not, do not consume raw flour

We get it: There's something tantalizing about eating raw cookie dough. However, if the raw eggs don't get you, the raw flour might. Despite being bleached, the CDC reports that flour can still carry bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, both of which can make people very sick.

Per Mayo Clinic, not everyone with Salmonella will show symptoms, but those who do will notice them within eight to 72 hours. Many symptoms mimic the stomach flu, including stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and fever. Seek medical attention if your symptoms last for more than several days or if you become too dehydrated.

As far as prevention goes, one of the main recommendations is not to eat raw flour. Dr. Mark Conroy from Ohio State Wexner Medical Center recommends people cook foods containing flour thoroughly before consuming them to ensure the Salmonella bacteria is killed off and advises practicing the same hygiene with flour as you would with raw meat. In other words, wash your hands and kitchen surfaces after using flour. Also, if you have a bag of the recalled Gold Medal flour, you should definitely throw it out.