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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Cookie Dough E. coli Outbreak Remains Mystery

According to a CDC update on the multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 linked to Nestle cookie dough, the agency is working with public health officials in several states and collaborating with the FDA and FSIS to investigate the outbreak.

Preliminary results of the investigation “indicate a strong association with eating raw prepackaged cookie dough,” though the agency is still trying to figure out the exact cause of the contamination. In late June, the FDA announced that it found a strain of E. coli O157:H7 in a sample of the recalled cookie dough, but the culture did not match the outbreak strain.

At last count, 80 persons from 31 states have been sickened. Of those cases, 70 have been confirmed by advanced DNA testing as having the outbreak strain, 35 have been hospitalized, and 10 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. In response to the outbreak, Nestle recalled 3.6 million packages of cookie dough.

The Danville Nestle cookie dough plant linked to the outbreak received clearance to restart manufacturing cookie dough July 9 and shipped out its first shipment of cookie dough since the outbreak last week.

The agency continues to recommend that consumers not eat any variety of the recalled dough. Of Nestle cookie dough packages have a “new batch” label then they were not a part of the outbreak. The agency also reminds consumers that they should not eat raw products that are meant to be cooked or baked before consumption.

Here is the CDC’s updated map:

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (2), California (5), Colorado (6), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Georgia (2), Iowa (2), Idaho (1), Illinois (7), Kentucky (2), Massachusetts (4), Maryland (2), Maine (3), Minnesota (8), Missouri (1), Montana (1), North Carolina (2), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), Nevada (2), New York (1), Ohio (3), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (1), Texas (3), Utah (4), Virginia (2), Washington (6), and Wisconsin (1).

  • Iris Wood

    most disappointed to find I could no longer purchase the cookie dough, particularily the carmel and chocolate filled ones. we purchase ours at Wal Mart in Fargo and/or Grand Forks N.D. That was one of our treats to buys when we go accross to N.D. Also will they be available in Canada soon. PLEASE