FDA finds E. coli in dough doesn’t match outbreak strain

Source of Article:  http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/news_home.shtml

7/14/2009-On July 9, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the strain of E. coli found in a sample of raw cookie dough collected at a Nestlé USA manufacturing plant does not match the strain that has been linked to a 30-state outbreak, and they aren't sure how the dough was contaminated, according to the Associated Press. The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been investigating whether the cookie dough was the source of the E. coli outbreak, which has sickened at least 69 people in about 30 states.

In June, Nestlé voluntarily recalled all Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products made at its Danville, Va., factory after the FDA told Nestlé it suspected consumers may have been exposed to E. coli bacteria after eating the dough raw. On June 29, the FDA confirmed evidence of E. coli O157:H7 in a retained production sample of 16.5 oz Nestle Toll House refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough bar. But on July 9, FDA spokesman Mike Herndon said tests on the dough, which came from an unopened package, show the strains of E. coli don't match the E. coli strain linked to the outbreak. That could mean the dough may have been contaminated with multiple strains. But neither the FDA nor Nestlé has discovered a probable source.

The FDA is working with Nestlé on the investigation, which Herndon said was ongoing. According to the FDA report (Form 483), federal investigators did not find any E. coli in the Danville plant. As part of the inspection, and through additional independent testing, more than 1,000 tests were performed at the Danville facility, including extensive environmental sampling and analyses. Nestlé also dismantled its production lines for thorough inspection, conducted extensive testing on equipment and ingredients, and has carefully reviewed its quality and food safety procedures. To validate these procedures, a controlled production is being phased-in on a few production lines. Scientists from the FDA, CDC, and the United States Department of Agriculture have been working along with nine Nestlé microbiologists on this comprehensive investigation.

AP article

Nestlé release

FDA Form 483 (pdf)


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