Wapo, "E. Coli Confirmed In Nestlé Samples."
The Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it had confirmed the presence of E. coli 0157, a deadly strain of bacteria, in samples of Nestlé Toll House refrigerated cookie dough produced at the company's plant in Danville, Va.
Investigators did not find the bacterium inside the factory or on equipment but in a tub of chocolate cookie dough made at the site in February, said David Acheson, assistant commissioner for food safety at the FDA. The dough had a June 10 expiration date.
Nestlé voluntarily recalled 30,000 cases of its refrigerated cookie dough on June 19 after officials at the FDA and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspected that dozens of cases of E. coli-related illness were linked to the product.
Nearly all the victims, most of whom are female and younger than 19, reported eating raw cookie dough in the days before the onset of symptoms.
Health officials still do not know how E. coli 0157, a bacterium that lives in cattle intestines, ended up in a product that seems so unlikely to contain it. The risk usually associated with cookie dough is salmonella, a bacterium that can be found in raw eggs. None of the ingredients in the dough -- eggs, milk, flour, chocolate, butter -- is known to host E. coli 0157.
The FDA press release:
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has found E. coli O157:H7 (a bacterium that can cause serious food borne illness) in a sample of prepackaged Nestlé Toll House refrigerated cookie dough currently under recall by the manufacturer and marketer, Nestlé USA. The contaminated sample was collected at Nestlé’s facility in Danville, Va. on June 25, 2009.
On June 19, the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned consumers not to eat any varieties of prepackaged Nestlé Toll House refrigerated cookie dough due to the risk of contamination with E. coli O157:H7. The warning was based on an epidemiological study conducted by the CDC and several state and local health departments. As of Thursday, June 25, the CDC reports that 69 persons from 29 states have been infected with the outbreak strain. Thirty-four persons have been hospitalized, nine with a severe complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No one has died.
Further laboratory testing is needed to conclusively link the E. coli strain found in the product to the same strain that is causing the outbreak.
Nestlé USA has fully cooperated with the FDA and CDC investigation and has recalled all of its prepackaged Nestlé Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products.
For answers to consumer questions about this recall and warning, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm168346.htm.
For more information about E. coli, visit the CDC Web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/.
Consumers who have additional questions about these products should contact Nestlé USA consumer services at 1-800-559-5025 and/or visit its Web site at www.verybestbaking.com.
June 19, 2009 - Nestlé USA’s Baking Division Initiates Voluntary Recall