From a company press release:
SOLON, Ohio, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ — Nestle USA’s Baking Division announced today it will begin using heat-treated flour in the manufacture of its Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough. "Consistent with our quality standards for Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough, this change will only further enhance the safety of our products," said Paul Bakus, General Manager, Nestle USA Baking Group.
In June 2009, Nestle USA voluntarily recalled refrigerated cookie dough after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control notified us they were conducting an investigation into reported E. coli O157:H7 illnesses that may have been related to consumption of raw cookie dough. The product was relaunched in August of 2009 following a thorough investigation at the Danville, Virginia manufacturing facility and implementation of a "best-in-class" testing protocol. The quality assurance protocol includes testing ingredients before they enter our facility, rigorous environmental sampling throughout the facility, and testing of finished product before it is shipped to customers.
On January 11, 2010 we informed the FDA that two samples of Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough manufactured at our Danville, Virginia facility did not pass this rigorous protocol, and had tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. Consistent with our quality assurance protocol, the finished product involved never left our factory or entered the supply chain, and none was shipped to customers. Product currently on store shelves displaying the "New Batch" sticker is not affected, and no product is being recalled.
The process of converting to heat-treated flour will begin today, January 13 and will result in a temporary suspension of production. Production with the new ingredient will begin the week of January 25, and the product will begin to appear on grocery store shelves in early March. Consumers may notice some shortages on store shelves as we implement this change at the factory.
We have informed the FDA of our plans and will continue to cooperate with them. In addition to converting to heat-treated flour, we also plan to continue our rigorous protocol of testing ingredients and finished product. While we are pleased our quality assurance protocols are working, we are taking these steps to further ensure the quality of our products.
As an important reminder, Nestle strongly advises that cookie dough should not be eaten raw, and to bake our products before consuming. Maintaining high food quality standards and ensuring the safety of our products and consumers continues to be our highest priority.