Nestle Reports Salmonella in Chocolate Morsels

JSOnline just reported that a chocolate morsel sampling at Nestle’s Burlington plant tested positive for the dangerous, sometimes deadly, <"">Salmonella pathogen, citing a Nestle official. The contaminated product was not shipped; therefore, no recall was implemented said Nestle spokeswoman, Laurie MacDonald.

MacDonald said the plant was thoroughly cleaned and there is no Salmonella outbreak at the Burlington site, 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.

Cyndi Armstrong, public health nurse for the Western Racine County Health Department, told JSOnline said Nestle informed the health department about the positive test. Armstrong said it remained unclear if the department would be investigation the matter.

Earlier last month, we wrote that 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.

This time, 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. Nestle’s intention is to use a 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.

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.
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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