E.coli outbreak investigation over, illnesses expected to continue for some time: CDC

E.coli outbreak investigation over, illnesses expected to continue for some time: CDC

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have completed investigation into a multi-state E.coli outbreak linked to General Mills flour. From December 2015 to now, at least 63 people have fallen sick and more are expected to become victims of the infection.

The federal health officials have asked consumers across the nation to make sure that they are not having the recalled flour and other foods at their places. The CDC report suggested that the outbreak investigation is complete, but there are chances that illnesses might continue.

The outbreak cases have taken place in 24 states and affected people in the age group of one to 95 years old. None of the patients have died, but symptoms of the 17 patients were so severe that they needed hospitalization.

In fact, one of the patients developed a fatal complication, hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. In the report, the CDC officials have reminded the public about the potential dangers linked with raw flour.

“This outbreak is a reminder that is it not safe to taste or eat raw dough or batter, whether made from recalled flour or any other flour. Flour or other ingredients used to make raw dough or batter can be contaminated with STEC and other germs”, revealed the CDC report.

On the other hand, the General Mills spokesman was of the view that with the help of the CDC and the FDA, they have been able to educate public about the potential dangers linked with raw dough. The CDC has suggested that if someone falls sick after handling or eating any of the products recalled as a part of the outbreak then he is urged to seek medical attention.

According to a report in Food Safety News by Coral Beach, "Federal health officials have concluded their investigation involving General Mills flour implicated in an E. coli outbreak that sickened at least 63 between December 2015 and now, but they say more people are expected to become ill."

“Although the outbreak investigation is over, illnesses are expected to continue for some time,” according to the CDC report. “Consumers who don’t know about the recalls could continue to eat the products and get sick. A list of the recalled products and how to identify them is available on the Advice to Consumers page.”

“This outbreak is a reminder that is it not safe to taste or eat raw dough or batter, whether made from recalled flour or any other flour. Flour or other ingredients used to make raw dough or batter can be contaminated with STEC and other germs that can make people sick,” the CDC report states.

“Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS),” according to the FDA report posted Thursday. “HUS can occur in people of any age, but is most common in young children under 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.”

A report published in Reuters informed, "The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday it had concluded an investigation into a multi-state E.coli outbreak linked to flour produced at a General Mills Inc plant in Kansas City, Missouri."

The outbreak had affected 63 people across 24 states, the CDC said. General Mills in May issued a voluntary recall of about 10 million pounds of flour and expanded it in July. However, the CDC warned on Thursday that illnesses are expected to continue as flour products have long shelf lives and may still be in people's homes.


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