Multiple brands of pie and tart shells are being recalled in Canada after the flour used to manufacture them was linked to 28 cases of illness due to infection with E. coli O121. The products affected by the recall were distributed by Edmonton’s Harlan Bakeries and sold under the brand names, Great Value, Apple Valley, Western Family and no name.
A foodborne illness outbreak was traced back to the flour used to manufacture these products, which may have been contaminated with E. coli O121. The recall notice is urging consumers to check their homes for the affected products, return those recalled products to the store, and to contact their doctor if they believe they have become ill after consuming the pie and tart shells.
“It is not safe to taste or eat raw dough or batter regardless of the type of flour used, as raw flour can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E. coli O121,” said the recall notice. “Food contaminated with E. coli O121 may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick.”
Symptoms of E. coli vary, however they may including nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. In individuals who are particularly vulnerable to infection – including infants and the elderly – the illness could lead to seizure, stroke, organ damage, and even death.
“The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products,” said the recall. “There have been reported illnesses associated with flour; however, at this time, there have been no confirmed illnesses associated with the products identified in this Food Recall Warning.”
So far, 28 cases of E. coli O121 have been identified across Canada since November of 2016. These cases were all linked to the now-recalled flour produced by Ardent Mills Canada.
While seven of the patients who became ill after consuming the contaminated flour were admitted to hospital, no deaths have been reported.