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Saturday, June 4, 2016

The "Strawberry Shortcake With E. Coli On The Side" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Just got home with two quarts of fresh-picked strawberries from a nearby local farm.  First batch of the season and being they are my favorite fruit, I had to make preparations to eat them.  Told Carol it was time for some shortcake.  Grabbed the square pan, all the ingredients  and Betty Crocker's Cook Book to prepare to make my first shortcake of the season.  While placing the ingredients in the mixing bowl, I found I had just enough Gold Medal flour to complete the recipe.  I told Carol and she reminded me that we had just purchased another bag of flour and I could put it in the canister when I was done making my shortcake.  
The UPC number is below the bar code on this bag of flour.
Now, I tell you all this pertinent information to make my story today have more meaning.  As it happened, I never put the 5 lb. Gold Medal flour into the canister and it proved to be the best thing I never did, for while watching TV a short time after the shortcake came out of the oven, we saw a news flash scan across the bottom of our TV screen stating that General Mills was recalling 10 million 5 lb. Gold Medal bags of flour because they might be contaminated with a dangerous strain of E. Coli bacteria.  Carol immediately looked at me and made sure I didn't use any of the new bag of flour in my shortcake ... just in case.  Now what are the chances of us having a bag with possible E. Coli in our pantry?  Wasn't more than ten minutes later our phone rang and since it said "Caller Unknown" we waited for the call to go to our answering machine.  A message began telling us that ... Lori from our local Giant Supermarket was calling to tell us about a recall on General Mills 5 lb. bags of Gold Medal flour due to a possible E. Coli contamination.  
Shelves were empty when I returned.
She gave a UPC number to look for on the bag and ... well we had possible E. Coli in our pantry.  Just so happened that I was going to head to the store for milk to pour on my strawberry shortcake, so I grabbed the bag of flour and headed to Giant Supermarket.  Went to the Customer Service Counter with my flour and after waiting in line a few minutes, asked the clerk to talk to Lori.  There was no Lori at the store and they had no idea what I was talking about ... until they saw a few more people behind me with a 5 lb. bag of Gold Medal flour.  Gave me a refund and I headed for my milk.  Kind of scary that I came so close to making my shortcake with the possible contaminated flour and may have become sick with E. Coli bacteria.  Sometimes the planets all align and fate .... well you know.  It was meant to be!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  PS - The shortcake was fabulous and the strawberries were so sweet they just about melted in your mouth.  As for the flour, I'm going to have to buy the store brand, since I finished the entire shortcake in one sitting and will need more, pronto!

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