Two kinds of prepackaged flour with possible E. coli contamination

Issue Date 3.7.2016
Source of Information

The United States Food and Drug Administration

Food Product

Prepackaged flour

Product Name and Description

(1) Product name: Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
Weight: 2 pounds per pack
Use-by date: May 16, 2017

(2) Product name: Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
Weight: 5 pounds per pack
Use-by date: May 17, 2017; May 19, 2017

Reason For Issuing Alert

The CFS earlier had advised the public to stop consuming and the trade to stop selling two kinds of product produced by an American manufacturer, General Mills Inc., which had been imported into Hong Kong as the product might be contaminated with E. coli. The CFS, through its routine Food Incident Surveillance System, noted another announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration that the American manufacturer concerned is expanding its recall to include more batches of the affected product. The CFS then immediately liaised with the US authorities, and followed up with General Mills Hong Kong Limited, the sole agent of the concerned product in Hong Kong. According to the information provided by the sole agent, two more batches of the affected product have been imported into Hong Kong. The sole agent confirmed that the above-mentioned product had already been distributed to local vendors.

People will contract E. coli causing gastro-intestinal disease through consumption of contaminated water or undercooked and contaminated foods. Intestinal bleeding and serious complications such as hemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) may also develop in some people. Moreover, due to poor personal hygiene, person-to-person transmission of this pathogen is possible through oral-faecal route.

Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety

The CFS is tracing the distribution of the affected product. The CFS has instructed the sole agent to stop selling the affected product and initiate a recall.

The CFS has also liaised with major local importers and conducted sales check at major local outlets. Preliminary investigation showed that the affected batches of the product have not been found available for sale so far.

The CFS alerted the trade, and will continue to closely monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up actions.

Advice to the Trade

Stop using or selling the product concerned immediately.

Advice to Consumers

Not to consume the affected product.

Further Information

The CFS press release

Members of the public may call the company's hotline at 2629 7766 for enquiries during office hours about the recall.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department