Baking mixes recalled nationwide because of E. coli in flour

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A Kansas company has issued a nationwide recall of baking mixes packaged under more than a dozen brands because they were made with flour from General Mills that has been recalled because it has been linked to an ongoing E. coli O121 outbreak.

“The recalled dry mixes were distributed nationwide in retail stores and online sales December 2015 through February 2016,” according to the recall notice from Rabbit Creek Products of Louisburg, KS.

“Please destroy any affected product and return the label to Rabbit Creek, P.O. Box 1059, Louisburg, KS 66053 for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 800-837-3073.”

The recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration does not indicate when suppliers notified Rabbit Creek officials that they had been sent some of the 45 million pounds of flour General Mills has recalled since May 31.

Because of the long shelf life of the baking mixes — which have best-by dates well into 2017 — company and FDA officials are concerned consumers may have the mixes in their homes.

Consumers can identify the recalled baking mixes, produced by Rabbit Creek under various brand names, by checking for specific labeling information provided in lists posted on the FDA’s website at the following links:

No illnesses had been reported to Rabbit Creek as of Thursday in connection with any of the recalled baking mixes it produced.

However, dozens of people across 21 states are confirmed to have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O121 that health officials isolated from bags of General Mills flour collected from victims’ homes.

Thirteen of the 46 confirmed outbreak victims have been hospitalized and one has developed a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is often fatal. The first confirmed case began Dec, 21, 2015, with the most recent victim becoming ill June 25, according to the most recent update, which was posted July 25.

Since the initial General Mills recall on May 31, FDA reported, as of July 25, it had “facilitated at least four recalls of firms that received recalled flour.” Those recalls were:

Anyone who has developed symptoms of E. coli infection after consuming any of the recalled products or flour should consult with a doctor.

“People usually get sick from E. coli O121, also referred to as STEC O121, 2-8 days after swallowing the bacteria,” according to the Rabbit Creek recall notice.

“Most people develop diarrhea, often bloody, and abdominal cramps. Most people recover within a week. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).”