The number of people believed to be infected with E. coli O157:H7 from Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough continues to climb. The CDC reported today that 72 persons in 30 states are infected with a strain of the deadly bacteria with a “particular DNA fingerprint.” Of the 72, 51 are confirmed as having the outbreak strain and confirmatory tests are pending on the others.
The CDC is reporting cases from the following states: Arizona (2), California (3), Colorado (6), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Georgia (1), Iowa (2), Illinois (5), Kentucky (2), Massachusetts (4), Maryland (2), Maine (3), Minnesota (6), 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).
The CDC is offering the following advice to consumers:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 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 contamination with E. coli O157:H7. If consumers have any prepackaged, refrigerated Nestle Toll House cookie dough products in their home they should throw them away. Cooking the dough is not recommended because consumers might get the bacteria on their hands and on other cooking surfaces. The recall does not include Nestle Toll House morsels, which are used as an ingredient in many home-made baked goods or other already baked cookie products.
Individuals who have recently eaten prepackaged, refrigerated Toll House cookie dough and have experienced any of these symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider immediately. Any such illnesses should be reported to state or local public health authorities.
Consumers should be reminded they should not eat raw food products that are intended for cooking or baking before consumption. Consumers should use safe food-handling practices when preparing such products, including following package directions for cooking at proper temperatures; washing hands, surfaces, and utensils after contact with these types of products; avoiding cross contamination; and refrigerating products properly.