General Mills Kansas City flour plant likely behind E. coli outbreak

CHICAGO - Flour produced at a General Mills Inc plant in Kansas City, Missouri, was probably the source of an E.Coli outbreak that has sickened 38 people across 20 states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

Ten people have been hospitalized in the outbreak, the CDC said.

General Mills said the strain of E.coli behind the illnesses had not been found in any of its flour products or in the manufacturing facility.

The Kansas City plant was open and running on Wednesday, and the company was continuing to investigate, company spokesman Mike Siemienas said.

On Tuesday General Mills said it voluntarily recalled about 10 million pounds of flour "out of an abundance of caution," following reports of E.coli O121 among consumers.

Investigations by federal, state and local health officials indicated that flour used by ill people or in restaurants where sick people were exposed to raw dough was produced at the Kansas City facility during the same week in November 2015, according to the CDC.

The flour that General Mills recalled was produced in the facility during that time frame and sold nationwide, the CDC said.

People sickened in the outbreak, which began in December, range in age from 1 to 95, according to the CDC. The agency's investigation is ongoing.
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