What to know about salmonella outbreaks

While baking enthusiasts love to grab a morsel of cookie dough, the risks of salmonella poisoning are an ever-present danger. Another type of contamination received coverage when the US Department of Agriculture announced a recall of Pillsbury Unbleached All Purpose Flour products via Twitter by Hometown Food Company. Approximately 12,000 cases shipped to grocers are affected.

While salmonella showing up in flour is not as well known, its presence is surprisingly common.

Salmonella in dry products

Salmonella is primarily associated with raw poultry and eggs and is found in animal intestines. Contamination results from contact with animal feces from the location where the grain was grown. From there, it goes through processing in dry products at shockingly high occurrences.

The resiliency of salmonella is not to be understated. Known for being extremely adaptable to stress, including flour manufacturing, where it can not only survive but thrive. The addition of heat only increases the bacteria’s strength. The sheer ability to survive has resulted in outbreaks involving cereal and crackers that mandated recalls.

These types of recalls are nothing new to companies and consumers. General Mills recalled their flour products over salmonella in 2016 and, most recently, in January.

The most recent announcement has yet to announce any sickness in connection with Pillsbury products. Every year, 1.2 million cases of salmonella occur. Symptoms include nausea, fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pains lasting from six hours to six days after infection. Illnesses may last four to seven days.

Consumers place trust in companies with a long history of quality products. When illness occurs, that confidence is shaken. Higher standards are often necessary to engender trust and keep their market share prominence in the industry.

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