Weise, USA TODAY
officials plan to stay in a Virginia food plant associated with a national
food-borne outbreak "as long as it takes" to solve this mystery:
How did E. coli O157:H7, most commonly associated with raw hamburger, get
in refrigerated cookie dough?
"That's the $64,000 question," says David Acheson,
the Food and Drug Administration's assistant commissioner for food safety.
Nestle products pulled from shelves
The outbreak appears to be linked to consuming uncooked Nestlé
refrigerated and frozen Toll House cookie dough products.
It has sickened 70 people nationwide, 30 of whom have been
hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No one has died.
Nestlé has recalled all product produced at the plant and
suspended operations there. But cookies made from refrigerated dough are
safe to eat, Nestlé says. The company notes that the instructions
"clearly state that the raw dough must be baked before
Theories on how E. coli got into the dough include
cross-contamination or a sick worker, Acheson says. "For this
particular bug, it doesn't take many (bacteria) to make you sick; 10 to 100