June 30, 2009

FDA Confirms E. Coli In Cookie Dough

On Monday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the presence of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough.

The FDA said in a statement that the contaminated sample was collected at Nestle's facility in Danville, Va on Thursday.

Earlier on Monday Nestle SA announced a recall of Toll House refrigerated cookie dough, saying the FDA found evidence of E. coli on a production sample of the product.

The recall did not include other Nestle Toll House products or any Nestle professional cookie dough products.

The FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned consumers on June 19th not to eat pre-packaged refrigerated cookie dough from the Toll House brand, explaining that there could be a risk of E. coli.

On that date, the company did recall some of its products, including all of its Toll House refrigerated Cookie Bar Dough, Cookie Dough Tub, Cookie Dough Tube, Limited Edition Cookie Dough Items, Seasonal Cookie Dough and Ultimates Cookie Bar Dough.

A statement was also released on June 19 that said, "We want to strongly advise consumers that raw cookie dough should not be eaten. This message also appears prominently on our packaging."

The FDA said that the warning was based on an epidemiological study that the CDC and local health departments conducted.

The CDC reported that 69 people in 29 states had been infected with a strain of E. coli since last Thursday.  There have been 34 people hospitalized.

The FDA said more tests would be done to conclusively determine the link between the E. coli strain found in the cookie dough to the strain found in the outbreak.

The bacteria strain is known to cause diarrhea and dehydration.  The groups of people most affected are children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.


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