Flour in a measuring cup

Two brands of flour have been recalled because they may be contaminated with E. coli, the Food and Drug Administration announced on November 29.

The two brands are Hodgson Mill Unbleached All-Purpose White Wheat Flour and Wild Harvest Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. No illnesses have yet been reported.

Both flours were sold in 5-pound bags and shipped to stores nationwide. The Hodgson Mill flour was also sold on the company’s website.

Neither company immediately returned requests for comment.

The bacteria was found during routine sampling. The specific strain of E. coli wasn’t identified, but in both cases it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly kidney failure or death. 

More on Food Safety

These are the fifth and sixth brands of flour recalled for E. coli in 2019. The lots of the Hodgson Mill flour involved were milled by the same company, ADM Mills, as the King Arthur, Pillsbury, and Baker’s Corner (sold at Aldi supermarkets) flours that were recalled earlier this year.

Both flours are being pulled from store shelves, but consumers may still have them in their homes. The “best by” dates extend into late 2020. 

If you have bags of either flour with the following information on the bags, throw it away or return it to the store where you bought it for a refund:

• Hodgson Mill: Best by dates 10-01-2020 or 10-02-2020; UPC 0-71518-05009-2; and lot codes 001042 or 005517

• Hodgson Mill: Best by dates 10-01-2020 or 10-02-2020; UPC 0-71518-05009-2; and lot codes 001042 or 005517

• Wild Harvest: AA Best if used by date 01-08-20; UPC 711535509158; and CC 15:58 

The location of the best by date and lot codes on the Hodgson Mill flour—the bottom back panel—also indicates whether the bag is part of the recall.

Recalled Hodgson Mill flour
Photo: FDA
Recalled Wild Harvest flour
Photo: FDA

“Research shows that E. coli can survive in flour for at least two years,” says James E. Rogers, Ph.D, director of food safety and testing at Consumer Reports.  “Many people will be baking for the holidays in the coming weeks, and everyone should remember that they shouldn’t eat raw dough or batter, no matter what flour they use. If E. coli or other bacteria are present, cooking will kill them. But when there’s a recall, consumers shouldn’t take the chance of using that flour.”

The Details

Products recalled: 5-pound bags of Hodgson Mill Unbleached All-Purpose White Wheat Flour and Wild Harvest Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour.

The problem: The flour may be contaminated with E. coli.

The fix: Check your cupboards and pantries for unbleached all-purpose flour from Hodgson Mill or Wild Harvest and look for the dates and codes listed above. If you have any, throw it out or return it to the store for a refund. Before buying new flour, check to make sure it isn’t labeled with the above codes.

How to contact the manufacturer: Call Wild Harvest at 855-423-2630 or Hodgson Mills at  888-417-9343