MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. on Sept. 16 announced a voluntary national recall of 5-lb bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour with a “better if used by” date of Sept. 6, 2020. The recall is being issued for the potential presence of E. coli O26, which was discovered during sampling of the 5-lb bag product, General Mills said.

“This recall is being issued out of an abundance of care as General Mills has not received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product,” the company said.

General Mills said the recall only affects the Sept. 6, 2020, date code of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour 5-lb bags. All other types of Gold Medal Flour are not affected by the recall.

“Guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) and the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) continues to warn that consumers should refrain from consuming any raw products made with flour,” General Mills said. “E. coli O26 is killed by heat through baking, frying, sautéing or boiling products made with flour. All surfaces, hands and utensils should be properly cleaned after contact with flour or dough.”

News of the recall comes approximately three years after the Minneapolis-based company was involved in a major recall that centered around its Gold Medal Flour and Gold Medal Wondra. Epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback evidence indicated that flour produced at a General Mills facility in Kansas City was the likely source of an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said infected 63 people in 24 states. Seventeen people were hospitalized, and one person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, but no deaths were reported. The recall in 2016 affected 45 million lbs of flour. Earlier this year, General Mills issued a voluntary recall for its 5-lb bags of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour after Salmonella was detected during the sampling of the product.