By March 28, 25 cases of E. coli 0121 with a matching genetic fingerprint were reported in the four Canadian provinces of British Columbia (12), Saskatchewan (4), Alberta (4), and Newfoundland and Labrador (5). Six people were hospitalized. The illness onset dates range from November 2016 to late February 2017.
Samples of Robin Hood flour were collected and tested positive for E. coli 0121 during a food safety investigation. Several people who became ill reported having contact with Robin Hood flour.
Canadians are advised not to use or eat any Robin Hood all-purpose flour, original, that was sold in 10-kilogram bags with a code containing BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548 because the flour may be contaminated with E. coli. The Public Health Agency of Canada posted a notice on its web site showing Smucker Foods of Canada Corp., a subsidiary of The J.M. Smucker Co., is recalling Robin Hood brand all-purpose flour, original from the market place due to the possible E. coli contamination.
The investigation is ongoing, and it is possible that additional products linked to the outbreak may be identified, the agency said. Restaurants and retailers are advised not to sell or serve the recalled product, or any items that may have been prepared or produced using the recalled product. The outbreak is a reminder that it is not safe to taste or eat raw dough or batter, the agency said.