On April 4, 2017, the Canadian Brand Robin Hood Flour was recalled for Microbiological – E. coli. The E. coli was identified during the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s food safety inspection. Robin Hood is in the process of removing the recalled product from the marketplace.
General Mills flour also took some heat when they had to recall several types of flour due to E. coli illnesses in 2016 as well.
General Mills made a statement to remind the public not to eat raw dough. “Do not eat uncooked dough or batter made with raw flour. Flour is made from wheat that is grown outdoors where bacteria are often present. Flour is typically not treated to kill bacteria during the normal milling process” (General Mills).
Food Safety Magazine reminds people that, “flour products have long shelf lives and recalled products could be in people’s homes for a long time. If you have any recalled flour products in your home, throw them away.”
Food Safety also lists safe food handling practices when it comes to baking with flour and other raw ingredients:
- Do not taste or eat any raw dough or batter, whether for cookies, tortillas, pizza, biscuits, pancakes, or crafts made with raw flour, such as homemade play dough or holiday ornaments.
- Do not let children play with or eat raw dough, including dough for crafts.
- Bake or cook raw dough and batter, such as cookie dough and cake mix, before eating.
- Do not make milkshakes with products that contain raw flour, such as cake mix.
- Do not use raw, homemade cookie dough in ice cream.
- Follow the recipe or package directions for cooking or baking at the proper temperature and for the specified time.
- Keep raw foods such as flour or eggs separate from ready-to eat-foods. Because flour is a powder, it can spread easily.
- Follow label directions to refrigerate products containing raw dough or eggs until they are cooked.
- Clean up thoroughly after handling flour, eggs or raw dough by washing your hands with running water and soap after handling flour, raw eggs or any surfaces that they have touched. Also wash bowls, utensils, countertops and other surfaces with hot water and soap.
Most importantly, stay safe. Make sure to avoid the consumption of raw dough, keep flour sealed and sanitary, and remember to replace flour in your home every so often to keep the product fresh.