An E. coli outbreak that has sickened 17 people in eight states has been linked to flour sold at select Aldi stores, the CDC announced Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement Friday that health officials are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 infections linked to flour packaged by Buffalo, New York-based ADM Milling Co.

The discount grocer and ADM announced this week they were recalling five-pound bags of Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour sold at select Aldi stores in 11 states “due to a potential presence of E. coli.”

According to the CDC, there have been three hospitalizations but no deaths have been reported.

This week, more than 62,000 pounds of raw beef products also were recalled because they might be contaminated with E. coli.

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According to a recall notice posted Thursday on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website, the flour was distributed to select Aldi stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.

The flour’s UPC code is 041498130404.

Aldi said in a statement that out of an abundance of caution it “has recalled all best if used by dates and all lots of Bakers Corner All Purpose Flour products produced by ADM Milling Co.” in the affected states.

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The discount grocer also recalled all other ADM retail flour products in the region as a precaution, ADM said in its statement, adding “no other products or customers are involved in this recall at this time.”

However, according to the CDC, the investigation is ongoing and officials are working with the FDA “to determine whether other brands or lots of flour may be potentially contaminated and need to be recalled.”

E. coli infections typically occur three to four days after consuming the germ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting can result after five to seven days. In severe cases, patients may get hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. 

Customers can return the flour to local stores for a full refund. For questions, contact ADM Milling Co. Customer Service at 800-422-1688 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CDT weekdays.

Follow Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko



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