As of July 11, 2019, a total of 21 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O26 were reported from 9 states.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 11, 2018 to May 21, 2019. Ill people range in age from 7 to 86 years, with a median age of 24. Seventy-one percent of ill people were female. Of 20 people with information available, 3 (15%) were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence, supported by product distribution records, indicated that flour was the likely source of this outbreak.
Investigators with the Rhode Island Department of Health collected records and flour samples at a bakery where an ill person reported eating raw dough. Records indicated that the bakery used Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour from ALDI. The outbreak strain was isolated from an unopened bag of Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour collected at the bakery.
WGS results showed that the E. coli O26 strain identified in the Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour sample was closely related genetically to the E. coli O26 strain identified in ill people. These results provide additional evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating flour.
On May 23, 2019, ALDI, in association with ADM Milling Co., recalled 5 lb. bags of Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour sold at retail locations in several states because they may be contaminated with E. coli.
Several brands and types of flour were recalled because they may be contaminated with E. coli. The following products were recalled:
Brand Castle Mixes
- On June 21, 2019, Brand Castle, LLC, of Bedford Heights, Ohio, recalled several brands of cookie and brownie mix because flour used in them was potentially contaminated with E. coli. The following Brand Castle mixes, sold in 25-oz and 32-oz glass jars, were recalled:
◦ Brand Castle Arctic Chill Chocolate Mint Cookie Mix: UPC 6-54448-01035-2, Lot L6112618
◦ Brand Castle Hot Cocoa Cookie Mix: UPC 6-54448-01036-9, Lot L5111918
◦ Sisters Gourmet Million Dollar Cookie Mix: UPC 6-54448-00002-5, Lot L2121818
◦ Sisters Gourmet Billion Dollar Brownie Mix: UPC 6-54448-00017-9, Lot 31OCT2019BC8324
◦ In the Mix Chocolate Mint Chip Cookie Mix: UPC 6-54448-01081-9, Lot LM101518
◦ Brand Castle the Grinch Sugar Cookie Mix with Sprinkles: UPC 6-54448-01038-3, Lot 25JUL2019BC8324
Pillsbury Best Bread Flour
- On June 14, 2019, Hometown Food Company, a customer of ADM Milling Co., announced a recall of 5-lb. bags of Pillsbury Best Bread Flour with UPC Code 0 5150020031 5 and the following lot codes and use-by dates:
◦ Lot Code: 8 342, Use-By Date: JUN 08 2020
◦ Lot Code: 8 343, Use-By Date: JUN 09 2020
King Arthur Flour
- On June 13, 2019, King Arthur Flour, Inc., a customer of ADM Milling Co., announced a recall of 14,218 cases of 5-lb. bags of King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. You can identify recalled flour by looking for the following best-used-by dates and lot codes on the bag’s side panel, below the nutrition facts box:
◦ Best Used By 12/07/19 , Lot: L18A07C
◦ Best Used By 12/08/19, Lots: L18A08A, L18A08B
◦ Best Used By 12/14/19, Lots: L18A14A, L18A14B, L18A14C
ALDI Baker’s Corner All Purpose flour
- On May 23, 2019, ALDI, in association with ADM Milling Co., recalled pdf icon [PDF – 142 KB]external icon all 5-lb. bags of Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour.
- Recalled flour was sold at retail locations in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.