Six E. coli cases in Minn. linked to recalled cookie doughby Mike Edgerly, Minnesota Public Radio,
Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
Food maker Nestle USA on Friday voluntarily recalled its Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products after dozens of people became sick with E. coli bacteria after eating the dough raw.
Six Minnesotans ranging in age from 2-18 have been sickened by E. coli between May 3 and June 11. One person was hospitalized. All have recovered.
The FDA said there have been 66 reports of illness across 28 states since March. About 25 people have been hospitalized, but no one has died.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning consumers not to eat any varieties of prepackaged Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough due to the risk of E. coli contamination.
The FDA advises that if consumers have any prepackaged, refrigerated Nestle Toll House cookie dough products in their home that they throw them away.
The Health Department recommends against cooking the dough, because consumers might get the bacteria on their hands and on other cooking surfaces.
Investigators are still trying to figure out how the dough was contaminated, since E. coli isn't typically found in raw dough.
Nestle spokeswoman Roz O'Hearn said "this has been a very quickly moving situation," adding the company took action less than 24 hours after hearing of the problem.
O'Hearn said the company will "cooperate fully" with the FDA's investigation.
The recall includes refrigerated cookie bar dough, cookie dough tub, cookie dough tubes, limited edition cookie dough items, seasonal cookie dough and Ultimates cookie bar dough. It does not affect any other Toll House products.
E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure.
Consumers who have additional questions about these products should contact Nestle consumer services at 1-800-559-5025, or visit their Web site at www.verybestbaking.com.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
Mike Edgerly is news director at Minnesota Public Radio.