E. Coli Outbreak Expands General Mills Flour Recall
General Mills announced yet another expansion of its flour recall after an announcement from government regulators that four more people from two different states have developed E. coli illness linked to the contaminated products. According to a CNN news report, one of those four victims is suffering from a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. This condition is usually the result of E. coli illnesses that last longer and are more severe, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The products included in this updated recall are the Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchens brands. They were produced through February 16, 2016. The previous recall was for products manufactured between November 4, 2015 and December 4, 2015. That recall included some Betty Crocker cake mixes. None of the recalled flour should be used, sold or consumed. General Mills first announced the recall of 10 million pounds of flour last month. Consumers are warned not to eat uncooked dough or batter made with raw flour.
Dangers of E. Coli
There are now 46 cases of E. coli infection related to this outbreak, which began in December. The most recent illness reported began on June 25. Symptoms of E. coli can include stomach cramps, severe pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fever. These symptoms could last five to seven days. The elderly, the very young and those with compromised immune systems have an increased risk of becoming ill. According to reports, the youngest affected person in this outbreak is a year old and the oldest, 95. About 80 percent of the affected victims are female.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have been sickened by these or other defective or contaminated food products, please remember that you have rights. Here are a few steps you can take in order to protect your legal rights:
• Get prompt medical attention including a prompt diagnosis. If you suspect your symptoms are due to something you ate, be sure that your doctor runs specific tests to help diagnose the illness.
• If you have any of the contaminated food at home, isolate it so one else uses or consumes it. You may also need to have it tested independently at a lab for the presence of pathogens, should you choose to pursue a claim against the manufacturer.
• Report your illness to the local healthcare agency, which tracks these types of outbreaks. This helps create a record.
• Contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and hold the negligent manufacturers responsible. Injured victims in such cases may be able to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress.