Local health officials in Lincoln County urge consumers to examine their refrigerators for pre-packaged Nestle Toll House cookie dough products
that have been recalled nationwide for possible contamination with E. coli bacteria, and to dispose of them properly.
The products involved in the voluntary recall include all varieties of Nestlé Toll House refrigerated Cookie Bar Dough, Cookie Dough Tub; Cookie Dough Tube; Limited Edition Cookie Dough items; Seasonal Cookie Dough and Ultimates Cookie Bar Dough. A complete list of recalled product varieties can be found at www.verybestbaking.com.
“There have been two cases of E. coli illness reported in association with this recall in our state, one of which is a Lincoln County resident who ate raw cookie dough from one of the affected lots. Symptoms typically include diarrhea and a bloody stool” said Maggie Dollar, Lincoln County Health Director. “The patient is recovering, but E. coli O157:H7 can be a serious and sometimes fatal disease so it is vitally important that the public take the right steps to remove these recalled products from their homes or places of business. All residents are advised to check the UPC codes, and if they match the ones on the recall list they should throw the product out (or return it to the store for a full refund). Cooking the dough is not recommended because consumers might get the bacteria on their hands and on other cooking surfaces.
Anyone with these symptoms should also see their doctor immediately, and report the code numbers to the Health Department’s Communicable Disease Nurse at 704-735-3001.”
The warning is based on an ongoing outbreak investigation conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other federal partners and state health departments. Since March 2009 there have been 70 reports of related or associated illness across 30 states. The multi-agency effort consists of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Health; N.C. DA&CS; and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development. These state officials are working together with local health departments to contact grocery stores, child care centers, summer camps, nursing and long-term care homes, jails, warehouses and other regulated facilities where the product may be found. Other places that this product may be found are churches and church-affiliated camps.
E. coli O157:H7 is a bacterium that can cause serious illness. It causes a diarrheal illness often associated with bloody stools. Most healthy adults can recover completely within a week. Young children and the elderly are at highest risk for developing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.
People 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. These practices include:
- 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.
For more information on safe food handling practices, go to http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm109899.htm
. Consumers who have additional questions about these products should contact Nestle consumer services at 1-800-559-5025 and/or visit their Web site at www.verybestbaking.com
For a complete listing of the recalled products go to: http://www.nestleusa.com/PubNews/PressReleaseLibraryDetails.aspx?id=133CC131-A79F-4E84-9C43-C9F99FE5BC99