The curious case of the cookie dough recall

By now, most people have heard that Nestle has “voluntarily” recalled its Toll House cookie dough. (A full list of the recalled Toll House products is available on the FDA’s Web site.) So far 65 people has suffered illness, 70 percent of them under 19 years old and two in Missouri.

The strain of E. coli the CDC believes is in the cookie dough is a particularly bad one called 0157:H7. It especially affects the very young and elderly and can cause “acute bloody diarrhea” for 5 to 10 days and in rare cases kidney failure. It can also lead to dehydration (caused by diarrhea) and infections.

How did it end up in cookie dough? Food activist Marion Nestle is perplexed by this, writing, “how on earth did this nasty form of E. coli, usually excreted by farm animals, get into it? Eggs? Butter?

Chocolate? Flour?”

Children aren’t supposed to eat cookie dough, because raw egg is considered a salmonella risk. But eggs can harbor E. coli too.

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink