More flour recalled as the FDA doubles down on cookie dough warning

(credit: Robert S. Donovan)

If you're a kid, few things are better than homemade cookies. Unlike store-bought sweets, you get to gobble up any bits of cookie dough stuck to the bowl and beaters, which can be more exciting than the cookies themselves.

Of course, most adults know you’re not supposed to eat raw dough because the raw eggs in it may contain Salmonella. But now there’s something else to worry about: E. coli in the flour.

On May 31, General Mills recalled 10 million pounds of flour, sold under three brands after an investigation linked the grain to an outbreak of E. coli O121 (you can see the recall information here). On Friday, the company expanded the recall as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied new cases. So far, the tainted flour has sickened 42 and sent 11 to the hospital. Although many strains of E. coli are harmless, the O121 serotype can lead to symptoms that typically include abdominal pain and diarrhea, often bloody. This E. coli can also even cause severe illness that leads to kidney failure. Young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are the most at risk of these severe cases.

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