CDC Final Investigation Notice: E. coli O26 outbreak linked to flour

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 11, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

The final investigation notice regarding a multistate outbreak of E. coli O26 infections linked to flour has been posted at https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2019/flour-05-19/index.html.

Key points:

  • This outbreak appears to be over, but the recalled flour products have long shelf lives and may still be in people’s homes.
  • People should check their homes for recalled flour and throw it away. Do not use any of the recalled flour.
  • A total of 21 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O26 were reported from nine states.
  • Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 11, 2018, to May 21, 2019.
  • Three hospitalizations and no deaths were reported.
  • Several products were recalled because they may be contaminated with E. coli. Those products include 5-lb. bags of Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour sold at ALDI, some 5-lb. bags of King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, some 5-lb. bags of Pillsbury Best Bread Flour, and several brands of cookie and brownie mix produced by Brand Castle.
  • For complete information on how to identify recalled products, visit the FDA websiteexternal icon.
  • This outbreak is a reminder to always bake or cook food made with raw dough or batter before eating it. Even tasting a small amount of raw dough or batter could make you sick.

About Shiga toxin-producing E. coli:

  • People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of 3 to 4 days after swallowing the germ.
  • Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps, and vomiting.
  • Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.
  • More information can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ecoli-prevention.html.

If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.

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Page last reviewed: July 11, 2019