You may be aware of the dangers related to eating raw dough because of the presence of raw eggs and the associated risk with Salmonella. However, did you know that there may be harmful strains of E. coli in flour?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating E. coli O121 outbreaks related to raw flour. General Mills is conducting a voluntary recall on its three brands of flour: Gold Medal, Signature Kitchens, and Gold Medal Wondra. The varieties include unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising flours. A person doesn’t need to consume the raw flour to become ill. You can become ill if you handle it and forget to wash your hands.
Follow these food safety tips from the FDA when handling flour and raw dough:
- Do not let young children handle “play” clay that is homemade from raw dough.
- Do not eat any raw cookie dough, cake mix, batter, or any other raw dough or batter product that is supposed to be cooked or baked.
- Follow package directions for cooking products containing flour at proper temperatures and for specified times.
- Wash hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with flour and raw dough products.
- Keep foods made with raw flour separate from other foods during preparation to prevent any contamination that may be present from spreading. Be aware that flour may spread easily because of its powdery nature. Follow label directions to chill products containing raw dough promptly after purchase until baked.
For more information, please visit: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm508450.htm