E. Coli Again Found in Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough

<"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">E. coli has been found in two samples of Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough made at the company’s Danville, Virginia factory. The Danville factory also produced Nestle Toll House cookie dough that was involved in an E. coli outbreak and recall last year.

This time, Nestle said none of the E. coli tainted cookie dough ever made it out of the plant, and no recall will be issued. However, the Danville facility will be shut down for two weeks while Nestle modifies its recipe and production process. When the Nestle factory reopens, the company will begin using flour that has been heated to kill E. coli and other pathogens.

Last June, Nestle recalled 3.6 million packages of the Nestle Toll House refrigerated dough, after it was linked to an outbreak of E. coli. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), at least 76 people in 31 states became ill with E. coli after consuming raw refrigerated Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough. Neither Nestle nor the FDA have determined how the cookie dough might have transmitted the E. coli infection.

The Danville plant stopped production because of the outbreak, and on the advice of the FDA, Nestle purchased new supplies of flour, eggs and margarine. The company also began testing all the ingredients entering its Danville plant. Production at Danville resumed July 7, and the product was returned to store shelves in late August. The new Nestle cookie dough bore a “New Batch” label and a prominent warning against eating it raw.

The FDA is now working with Nestle to try to find the source of this latest E. coli contamination. The E. coli tainted dough, all the dough made since, and any product made the day prior to its discovery, is slated to be destroyed.

While Nestle is not recalling any cookie dough, it did reiterate its warning to consumers not eat raw Toll House dough, and said it should be baked before it is eaten.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors, and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to food borne illness. E. coli may also cause fatal blood poisoning, cystitis, deadly septicemia, and death. In the US, E. coli is the leading cause of food-borne illness, sickening about 73,000 and killing 61 every year. Even ingesting a small amount of the bacteria can lead to severe, and often life-threatening, illness.

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