KENT COUNTY, Mich. (WOOD) — Health officials say an E. coli outbreak linked to flour has sickened four people statewide, including two in West Michigan.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, adults from Kent, Ottawa, Oakland and Ingham counties were sickened by the strain of E. coli.
Kent County Health Department spokesman Steve Kelso told 24 Hour News 8 one of two people hospitalized in Michigan was from Kent County. He said the person was treated in February, but tracing the source of the infection to a specific food can take a long time.
Nationally, 38 people in 20 states have been infected between late December 2015 and early May 2016, health officials report.
The outbreak has been linked to three brands: Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour, and Signature Kitchens flour produced by at a General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri.>>Online: UPCs of affected flour products
General Mills announced a voluntary nationwide recall of the products on May 31. State officials are checking stores across Michigan to ensure the recalled product is removed from their shelves.
E. coli infection can cause bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and dehydration. Children younger than 5 years, older adults and people who are immune compromised may suffer more severe symptoms, leading to a type of kidney failure that can cause fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue, bruising, bleeding from nose and mouth, and decreased urination. People with these symptoms should see a doctor immediately.
General Mills said customers should not eat raw dough or batter and should wash their hands and work surfaces that may have come in contact with raw dough or flour. The E. coli bacteria is killed when cooked.