Nestle Has Another Salmonella Problem

Nestlé’s has to shut down its production line for the second time in 2010 due to a positive <"">Salmonella test. According to The Journal Times, workers reported and Nestlé’s confirmed that a batch of chocolate chips made at its Burlington, Wisconsin facility tested positive for the dangerous, and sometimes deadly, Salmonella pathogen.

Laurie MacDonald, spokeswoman for the firm, said the contaminated batch was manufactured on April 22; results were received shortly after, said The Journal Times. The production line involved was shut down for “thorough additional cleaning,” MacDonald said, quoted The Journal Times, adding that cleaning was scheduled to continue to through the weekend with production scheduled to resume yesterday.

According to MacDonald, the contaminated product never left the plant, “That product remains under our control,” and will be destroyed, said MacDonald, according to The Journal Times. Only one production line was involved.

One chocolate chip sample tested positive for salmonella, MacDonald said, and all of the batches tested prior to and after that sampling tested negative, according to The Journal Times. “All this routine testing is done all the time…. It’s costly but necessary,” she said, adding “Are we happy we found it? Of course not.”

Nestle continues testing the plant for Salmonella and is trying to determine the pathogen’s source, according to MacDonald, wrote the Journal Times.

In February, a chocolate morsel sampling the same facility also tested positive for Salmonella. In that case, the contaminated product was also not shipped and a recall was not implemented. According to MacDonald, at that time, the plant was thoroughly cleaned and there was no Salmonella outbreak, said JSOnline. “We have rigorous quality assurance protocols and procedures in place, which include testing of product during our manufacturing process,” MacDonald said, quoted JSOnline.

Just a month earlier, E. coli was 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.

Again, in the initial case, Nestle said none of the E. coli tainted cookie dough ever made it out of the plant; therefore, a recall was not issued. The Danville facility was shut down for two weeks while Nestle modified its recipe and production process. Nestlé’s intention was to use different 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 determined how the cookie dough might have transmitted the E. coli infection.

Both E. coli and Salmonella are potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and significant gastrointestinal distress and that can, in severe cases, lead to long-term illness and even death. The very young, seniors, and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to food borne illness.

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