FDA Investigates Nestle Facility

June 22, 2009
WASHINGTON—Just days after the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation expanding federal oversight of food processors, a Nestle USA facility was targeted in an investigation by the FDA and the CDC.

The agencies suspect that consumption of raw Toll House cookie dough led to a recent E. coli 0157: H7 outbreak that affected approximately 65 people in 29 states.

A Nestle facility in Danville, Va., produces the majority of the company’s Toll House cookie dough. Production of cookie dough at the plant has been suspended.

Within 24 hours of being notified of FDA’s suspicions, Nestle voluntarily recalled about 300,000 cases of refrigerated Toll House cookie dough products, according to Laurie MacDonald, a vice president at Nestlé.

The company released a statement claiming that no other Nestlé Toll House products are impacted. 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.

“We want to strongly advise consumers that raw cookie dough should not be eaten,” the company added. “This message also appears prominently on our packaging. Nestlé Toll House cookies made from refrigerated dough are safe to consume when baked as directed on the package.”

Nestle is directing consumers to return the product to local grocers and receive a refund.

Earlier this month, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, which was introduced in response to recent food-related outbreaks.