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The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide Recall of the Week: Nestles Toll House cookie dough

The recall of Nestles Toll House cookie dough last week is receiving a significant amount of coverage in the press.

Fortunately, no deaths have occurred, unlike some of the recalls I’ve featured on The Survive and Thrive boomer Guide blog since February.

Consumers are being warned not to eat any varieties of prepackaged Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough due to the risk of contamination with E. coli O157:H7, a bacterium that causes food borne illness.

The warning is based on an ongoing epidemiological study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several state and local health departments.

Nestle said about 300,000 cases of Nestle Toll House cookie dough are affected by the recall, which includes chocolate chip dough, gingerbread, sugar, peanut butter dough, and other varieties.

For information on the varieties involved in the recall, see this list.  

If consumers have any Nestle Toll House cookie dough in their home, they should throw it away, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises. Cooking the dough, which would kill E. coli, isn’t recommended because consumers might get the bacteria on their hands and on other cooking surfaces. This contamination could cause illness.

Since March, health officials have received 66 reports of illness in 28 states. Twenty-five persons were hospitalized; seven with a severe complication called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.


This map shows the states where an outbreak strain of E.coli 0157:h7 has occurred since March.

E. coli O157:H7 causes abdominal cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea, often with bloody stools. Most healthy adults can recover within a week. Young children and the elderly are at highest risk for developing the syndrome, which can lead to serious kidney damage and even death, according to the FDA.

Individuals who have recently eaten Toll House cookie dough and have experienced any of these symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider immediately. The illnesses should be reported to state or local health authorities.

Health officials are reminding consumers not to eat raw food products that are to be cooked or baked before eating. They also should: follow directions for cooking temperatures; wash hands, surfaces, and utensils after contact with these types of products; avoid cross contamination; and refrigerate products properly.

Consumers who have questions about the Nestles Toll House cookie dough recall need to contact Nestle consumer services at 1-800-559-5025 and/or visit their Web site at

Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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