Food recall has us worried for real-life The Last of Us outbreak

Food recall has us worried for real-life The Last of Us outbreak
Images via HBO

Written by 

Tom Chapman


15th May 2023 14:51

In a case of life imitating art, a recall of certain food products has us worried about The Last of Us happening in our everyday life, turning the human race into flesh-hungry mushroom monsters. Well, not quite. However, HBO's hit series has gone full Black Mirror to foreshadow real-life events. 

Bringing Naughty Dog's 2013 game to life on the small screen might've seemed like an impossible task thanks to its beloved status as one of the best games of all time, but juggling the source material with new tweaks meant HBO did it in style.

In particular, showrunner Craig Mazin and Game Director Neil Druckmann gave us an insight into how the apocalypse started and confirmed the outbreak was via infected food from a flour and grain factory in Jakarta. It was realistic enough to seem like a reality, and now, it's become one.

Food recall has us worried about The Last of Us

The Last of Us infected flour HBO
Click to enlarge

While we're (hopefully) a long way from sprouting tendrils from our mouths and losing our eyes to parasitic fungi, General Mills has posed on the United States Food and Drug Administration site and warned it's recalling two, five, and 10-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached and Gold Medal Bleached All Purpose Flour.

The recall is due to concerns about Salmonella Infantis contamination. Inspectors reportedly found the spoiled flour during a routine inspection, with recalls on two batches with dates of "better if used by" March 27, 2024, and March 28, 2024. So, you'd better start checking those dates.

There's guidance from the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) and Centers for Disease Control(CDC), warning that "consumers should refrain from consuming any raw products made with flour." Although it can be killed by "baking, frying, sautéing or boiling products made with flour," you should make sure surfaces are properly cleaned.

The Last of Us already has worrying ties to real-life

The Last of us Tess and the Infected
Click to enlarge

You might remember the harrowing opening of The Last of Us Episode 1, where a flashback to 1968 featured John Hannah's Dr Neuman cautioning us that fungus could mutate if the world got hotter - thanks to global warming. We've also been warned that the infection is "three steps" away from happening in real life.

Although those steps are pretty extreme, it's still a chilling look at what could happen. As The Last of Us based Cordyceps outbreak on the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (zombie ant fungus) from nature, it's all a little too close to home. 

The contaminated flour comes after we've had our first case of a human being infected with a killer plant fungus called chondrostereum purpureum virus. Even though we're a long way from the events of The Last of Us, it definitely has you thinking about the next time you whip up a batch of pancakes.

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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