Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Consumers urged to discard or return Nestlé's cookie dough products
State health officials are investigating six cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection in Minnesota residents associated with eating a popular brand of raw, commercially packaged cookie dough.
Routine monitoring by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) found that the cases of illness were all caused by E. coli O157:H7 with the same DNA fingerprint. The individuals became ill between May 3 and June 11. All six reported eating raw cookie dough of the Nestlé's Toll House brand.
The cases range in age from 2 to 18 years of age; five (83 percent) are female. One was hospitalized. All have recovered.
Minnesota's cases are linked by the same DNA fingerprint to cases of E. coli infection in at least 66 people in 28 states. In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vast majority of the people interviewed reported eating raw cookie dough of the same brand.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CDC are warning consumers not to eat any varieties of prepackaged Nestlé Toll House refrigerated cookie dough due to the risk of contamination with E. coliO157:H7. The FDA advises that if consumers have any prepackaged, refrigerated Nestle Toll House cookie dough products in their home that they throw them away. Cooking the dough is not recommended because consumers might get the bacteria on their hands and on other cooking surfaces.
Toll House cookie cough products are typically stocked in the refrigerator cases of many grocery and warehouse- type stores in Minnesota and around the country. Over a dozen varieties are sold in plastic tubs, plastic tubes, and rectangular packages. Retailers, restaurateurs, and personnel at other food-service operations should not sell or serve any Nestlé Toll House prepackaged, refrigerated cookie dough products subject to the recall.
It has not yet been determined how the E. coli bacteria got into the cookie dough, but the FDA is working with the Nestle company to answer that question. "Cookie dough, whether purchased in a tub from the store, or made at home from scratch, should not be eaten raw," said Carlota Medus, epidemiologist in the foodborne illness unit with MDH.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is assisting with the ongoing investigation in Minnesota. MDA's lab is testing product collected from retail stores and from ill consumers' homes.
Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 illness include stomach cramps, and diarrhea, often bloody diarrhea, with little or no fever. Most people recover in approximately 5 to 10 days. E. coli O157:H7 infections sometimes lead to a serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure. People typically become ill two to five days after eating contaminated food.
Those who develop such symptoms after consuming this product should contact their health care provider immediately. E. coli disease should not be treated with antibiotics, which can cause additional complications.
More information on E. coli O157:H7 can be found at www.health.state.mn.us.
Consumers who have additional questions about these products should contact Nestle consumer services at (800) 559-5025 and/or visit their Web site at www.verybestbaking.com.
For a complete listing of the recalled products go to: