CDC Links 80 E. coli O157:H7 to Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough – 35 Hospitalized – 10 with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
CDC is collaborating with public health officials in many states, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to investigate an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections.
As of Friday, July 31, 2009, 80 persons infected with a strain of E. coli O157:H7 with a particular DNA fingerprint have been reported from 31 states. Of these, 70 have been confirmed by an advanced DNA test as having the outbreak strain; these confirmatory test results are pending on the others. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (2), California (5), Colorado (6), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Georgia (2), Iowa (2), Idaho (1), Illinois (7), Kentucky (2), Massachusetts (4), Maryland (2), Maine (3), Minnesota (8), 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).
Most persons became ill during May and June. Ill persons range in age from 2 to 65 years; however, 66% are less than 19 years old; 69% are female. Thirty-five persons have been hospitalized, 10 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). We represent 24 people sickened - most of them were hospitalized (one still is) - 6 developed HUS. Three lawsuits have been filed - Colorado, California and Washington.
Oddly, despite the overwhelming evidence linking its product to the 80 illnesses, there seems to be a bit of denial by Nestle corporate leadership. Here is a quote from last week:
General Manger of Nestle Baking, Paul Bakus said, "[w]e did find one package of our finished food cookie dough that had e. coli, but it was not the same strain that made people sick. So, we really don't know whether our packaging and our product was responsible, but the reality is that it could have been," Bakus said.
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