From a Nestle press
release from yesterday afternoon:
USA's Baking Division was informed today by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) that it has found and confirmed evidence of E. coli 0
(sic – its a O) 157:H7 in a retained production sample of 16.5 oz. Nestle
Toll House refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough bar. The product has a
day code of 9041 and a "Best before 10 JUN 2009" notation.
continues to work closely and in full cooperation with the FDA on the
ongoing investigation. We are very concerned about those who have become
ill from E. coli 0 (sic – its a O) 157:H7, and deeply regret that this has
Admitting you have a
problem is the first step. Saying sorry is a start.
However, there is more to do. According to the CDC, as of Thursday,
June 25, 2009, 69 persons infected with E.
coli O157:H7 with a particular DNA fingerprint have been reported from
29 states. That number is expected to rise over the next few days. We
have filed three lawsuits so far. We have a baker's dozen other ready
The number of ill persons
so far identified in each state is: Arizona (2), California (3), Colorado
(5), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Georgia (1), Iowa (2), Illinois (5),
Kentucky (3), Massachusetts (4), Maryland (2), Maine (3), Minnesota (6),
Missouri (1), Montana (1), North Carolina (2), New Hampshire (2), New
Jersey (1), Nevada (2), Ohio (3), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania
(2), South Carolina (1), Texas (3), Utah (2), Virginia (2), Washington (6),
and Wisconsin (1).
Ill persons range in age
from 2 to 65 years; however, 64% are less than 19 years old; 73% are
female. Thirty-four persons have been hospitalized, and 9 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Here is the reality –
After 16 years of litigating every major E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, medical
bills for these 69 (and counting) people may range from a few thousand to
hundreds of thousands of dollars to date. Some have insurance but many do
not. Many have spent weeks in the hospital caring for their sick child or
spouse. Some have lost wages, some their jobs.
As I always tell
companies - "It is a bad idea to poison your customers."
So, when is Nestle going to take the next step and offer to help its