King Arthur Flour Recall Extended Over E. Coli Contamination Fears

King Arthur Flour has released a statement extending its voluntary recall from June to include additional batches of flour after new information revealed certain batches had been omitted from the original data

The recall affects the brand's 5-pound bag of unbleached all-purpose flour, which sampling revealed could be contaminated with Escherichia coli O26.

According to the update, published on November 1, 2019, the newly affected batches are bags with lot codes L18A09A and L18A09C (best used by date: 12/09/19) and lot code A19A08A (best used by date: 01/08/20).

Lot codes and best used by dates can be found at the bottom of the ingredient side panel on the packet.

According to the press release, there have been no reports of illness related to the consumption of the product that King Arthur Flour is aware of.

However, consumers who have purchased one of these products are advised to return bags to the store they bought it from for a full refund. Alternatively, customers can throw away the affected bags and claim a replacement or refund at or alternatively, via the King Arthur Flour Consumer Hotline at 866-797-9178.

e coli and microscope
King Arthur Flour has recalled the products over concerns they might be contaminated with E. coli (pictured). Zaharia_Bogdan/iStock

Why is E. coli dangerous?

E. coli is a diverse group of bacteria, some of which are harmless and some of which can cause illness.

E. coli O26 can cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps. While most people will get better within a week or so, it can develop into a more severe infection and (in rare cases) it can trigger hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that can result in kidney failure.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it usually takes between two to eight days (with an average of three to four days) for symptoms to develop after infection.

This is one of the reasons why consumers are warned not to consume raw flour products and are advised to wash their hands, work surfaces and utensils when they make contact with flour or raw dough products. The bacteria can be killed by heat during the cooking process.

Which other batches are affected?

The recall also affects batches included in the original June recall notice:

L18A07C (best used by date:12/07/19), L18A08A, L18A08B (best used by date:12/08/19) and L18A14A, L18A14B, (L18A14C best used by date: 12/14/19).

As well as batches included in an October 3, 2019 update:

L18A04A (best used by date: 12/04/19), L18A05A, L18A05B, L18A05C (best used by date: 12/05/19), L18A09B (best used by date: 12/09/19), L18A10A (best used by date: 12/10/19), L18A13B, L18A13C (best used by date: 12/13/19), L18A20A, L18A20B, L18A20C (best used by date: 12/20/19), L18A21A (best used by date: 12/21/19), L18A27A, L18A27B, L18A27C (best used by date: 12/27/19), L18A28A (best used by date: 12/28/19), A19A02B, A19A02C (best used by date: 01/02/20), A19A03A, A19A03B, A19A03C (best used by date: 01/03/20), A19A05A, A19A05B (best used by date: 01/05/20), A19A07B, A19A07C (best used by date: 01/07/20), A19A08B (best used by date: 01/08/20), A19A09B (best used by date: 01/09/20), A19A10B (best used by date:01/10/20), A19A12A (best used by date:01/12/20), A19A14A, A19A14B, A19A14C (best used by date:01/14/20) and A19A15A, A19A15B (best used by date: 01/15/20).