Monday, April 17, 2017

Robin Hood Flour recall expanded to national E.coli concern

Ardent Mills has expanded the recall of Robin Hood flour products due to concerns about E. coli O121 contamination. PHOTO: Mark Wanzel/Barrie Examiner/Postmedia Network

More than a baker’s dozen of flour products have been pulled from grocery store shelves because of E.coli contamination.  As of April 16, Ardent Mills recalled 16 varieties of Robin Hood and Creative Baker flour from stores across Canada with a wide range of product codes and package sizing.
“As a result of the food-safety investigation, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) identified additional products that could pose a health risk. Those products have now been added to the updated recall warning,” CFIA spokesperson Maria Kubacki said on Monday.
“The CFIA is warning the public not to consume these products,” she added. “If consumers have any of the recalled products in their home, they should throw them out or return them to the store where they purchased them.”
On its website, Ardent Mills said it is co-operating with CFIA’s food safety inspection and direction to expand the flour-products recall. No deaths have been reported, but at least twenty-six people required hospital care.
The company noted it is committed to doing all it can to provide ingredients that make safe, healthy and good tasting products. But it does add that “flour is a raw agriculture commodity made from wheat, which is grown outdoors where bacteria and microbes, such as E. coli O121, are often present.”
The release seems to suggest that because there is no heat process used to cure the wheat, it remains possible that E. coli O121 can still be harbored in the product until it is cooked.
“The normal milling process uses the simple, time-honored traditions that were invented more than 100 years ago. Today’s mills, however, have significantly improved food safety. Nonetheless, neither the original process nor today’s process contain a kill step to eliminate microbes, such as E. coli O121 that may originate with the wheat. Common kill steps applied during food preparation include thoroughly boiling, baking, roasting, microwaving and frying. These so called kill steps will render the microbes or bacteria harmless.”
Initially, only 10-kilogram bags of Robin Hood All Purpose Flour with code
BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548 that were sold in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were considered to have been possibly contaminated with E-coli. But as of April 4, the Public Health Agency of Canada opened the recall up to be one of national concern.
This company has been a mainstay in Canada for decades. They have always produced a pure, dependable and trusted product. I would like a clear explanation of what has gone wrong. How did the infected flour escape detection at the mills and packaging plants? Surly, there should be daily, routine, quality inspections..
Two Alberta law firms announced last week they were filing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of people who bought or consumed Robin Hood flour and became ill.

As of Sunday, Robin Hood bags of varying sizes containing the following codes are being recalled:
Lot codes
BB/MA 2018 FE 02 and 6 307 548
BB/MA 2018 FE 03 and 6 308 548
BB/MA 2018 AL 26 and 6 300 548
BB/MA 2018 AL 26 and 6 300 548
BB/MA 2018 JA 24 and 6 298 548
BB/MA 2018 JA 25 and 6 299 548
BB/MA 2018 AL 25 and 6 299 548
BB/MA 2017 AU 25 and 6 299 548
BB/MA 2018 AL 27 and 6 301 548
BB/MA 2018 AL 28 and 6 302 548
BB/MA 2018 AL 28 and 6 307 548
BB/MA 2018 AL 29 and 6 303 548
Additionally, Creative Baker All Purpose Flour, 10-kg bags with lot code BB/MA 2017 OC 26 6 300 SK is also being recalled.

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