E. Coli Contamination Confirmed in Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Dough
A few days ago, we reported the recall of Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Dough due to suspected E. coli contamination. Today, it has been confirmed that E. coli 0157 was present in Nestle Cookie Dough samples produced out of the company’s Danville, Virginia plant. The confirmation came from the Food and Drug Administration.
Assistant Commissioner for Food Safety for the Food and Drug Administration David Acheson said that the bacterium was not found inside the factory or on the plant’s equipment, but in a tub that contained chocolate cookie dough which had an expiration date of June 10th.
Most of the patients who exhibited symptoms of illness caused by E. coli 0157 had reportedly consumed raw cookie dough days before they started feeling symptoms. The patients were mostly female under the age of 19.
What is puzzling to health officials is how E. coli 0157 ended up in cookie dough to begin with. The bacteria lives in cattle intestines and it is unlikely to find its way to the ingredients that comprise cookie dough. What is more associated with cookie dough is the risk for salmonella, which is hosted by raw eggs. E. coli is not known to be hosted by eggs, milk, flour, chocolate and butter – the ingredients for cookie dough.
Investigators have said, though, that no contamination was detected in the plant’s equipment and among its workers, so it is the ingredient that can only be isolated as a possible source.
For now, the portion of the Danville plant where the cookie dough is manufactured remains closed. It has been closed since the 19th, when federal investigators began to look into the source of the contamination. The other portion of the plant, where Buitoni pasta is manufactured, is still operational. It is reportedly unclear, though, whether the cookie dough operation will resume. The operation has 250 employees.Tags: contaminated cookie dough, e. coli cookie dough, Nestle cookie dough, nestle cookie dough recall, nestle e. coli, Tollhouse cookie dough