Pillsbury Flour Recalled for Salmonella Risk

More than 12,000 cases of Pillsbury Unbleached All Purpose Flour have been recalled due to possible salmonella contamination.

According to the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA), Hometown Food Company, the parent company of Pillsbury, has issued a voluntary recall of 12,185 cases of its All Purpose flour products that were distributed through a limited number of retailers and distributors, including Publix and Winn-Dixie.

The lot codes on the recalled products are 8 292, with a "best if used by" date of April 19, 2020; and 8 293 with a "best of used by" date of April 20, 2020.

In a statement addressing the recall, Publix urged customers who have purchased the affected products not to eat them and to instead throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.

According to a recall notice on Winn-Dixie's website, "there have been no reports of any illnesses associated with this recall.”

“Please dispose of this product or return to your nearest store for a full refund,” the statement added. “Customers with questions about the recalled products may contact the Southeastern Grocers Customer Call Center toll free at (866) 946-6349, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT, and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.”

No other Pillsbury products are impacted by the recall.

As a result of the recall, the FDA has reminded people to forgo eating raw cookie dough, as well as cake mix, batter, and other raw flour products, as flour can contain bacteria that cause salmonella.

“Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria," senior advisor in FDA's Office of Food Safety Leslie Smoot, Ph.D. said, adding that “if an animal heeds the call of nature in the field, bacteria from the animal waste could contaminate the grain, which is then harvested and milled into flour.”

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Although common “kill steps,” such as boiling, baking, roasting, microwaving, and frying, are applied during food preparation and processing, those same kill steps are not present when dealing with raw cookie dough.

Consumption of contaminated products can cause salmonellosis, a common foodbourne illness. Symptoms typically arise within 12 to 72 hours and include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Although rare, the infection can spread from the intestines to the blood stream, requiring the individual to be hospitalized.