E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Flour
Many of us can recall being admonished against eating raw cookie dough by our mothers, out of fear that the uncooked eggs might contain salmonella. The outbreak of infection now occurring nationwide, however, is linked not to raw eggs, but to raw flour. In the latest dangerous incident of food contamination, General Mills has issued a recall of some ten million pounds of flour which has been linked to over 40 cases of E. coli in over 20 states across the US.
Beginning in late December of 2015, individuals began reporting that they were experiencing the symptoms of Escherichia Coli after eating raw flour, but the sickness was not linked to General Mills flours until much later. Numerous additional cases of E. coli were since reported, with the most recent case reported on June 8, 2016. After inspecting the foods contained in the sickened victims’ homes, the same strain of E. coli was found in flour samples taken from homes in Arizona, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Since December, there have been 42 cases of E. coli reported, 11 of which resulted in hospitalizations, with all victims suffering from the same strain of the illness. Cases have been reported in 21 states nationwide, including two cases in Virginia.
General Mills first issued a recall of some lines of its Gold Medal flours on May 31, 2016. The food manufacturer then expanded the recall on July 1, after learning of yet another individual made ill with E. coli to include all Gold Medal Wondra Flour, Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour, Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour, and Signature Kitchens All-Purpose Flour produced in its Kansas City, Missouri plant beginning in Fall of 2015. A complete list of all recalled flour products can be found on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here.
Companies have an obligation to ensure that the products they sell are safe for consumers, and consumers have a right to expect that the products they buy will not harm them. This means that these companies must thoroughly test and sample the products they sell to ensure safety. Whether or not a corporation realizes that a product they’ve designed, manufactured, or sold is dangerous, they can still be held financially responsible for any harm those products cause to customers.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a dangerous or defective product in Virginia, contact the skilled and knowledgeable Charlottesville personal injury attorneys at Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz for a consultation on your case, at 434-977-7977.