FDA Confirms E. coli Contamination in Cookie Dough

The Food and Drug Administration confirmed on June 29 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, FDA and the 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. CDC reported that as of Thursday, June 25, 69 people from 29 states had been infected with the outbreak strain. Thirty-four people had been hospitalized, nine with a severe complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, but no one had 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, click here. For more information about E. coli, visit the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov/ecoli.

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