If you’ve got Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough in your fridge, throw it away. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a warning to consumers not to eat any varieties of prepackaged Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough because of a risk of E. coli O157:H7 contamination.
The strand of E. coli bacterium causes food borne illness. Symptoms include abdominal cramping, vomiting and diarrhea, often with bloody stools. Most healthy adults can recover completely within a week. However, young children and the elderly are at higher risk for developing a complication called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.
Not only does the FDA advise that you not eat the dough raw, but the organization also says consumers should not cook it because the bacteria may spread on cooking surfaces and their hands. Your safest bet? Trash it.
Retailers and restaurants have also been advised not to sell or serve any Nestle Toll House prepackaged, refrigerated cookie dough products subject to the recall.
The warning is based on an ongoing study conducted by the CDC and several state and local health departments. Since March 2009 there have been 66 reports of illness across 28 states. Twenty-five people have been hospitalized, 7 of whom had HUS. Nestle USA, which manufactures and markets the Toll House cookie dough, is fully cooperating with the investigation.
If you have recently eaten prepackaged, refrigerated Toll House cookie dough and have experienced any of the symptoms, contact your doctor or health care provider immediately. Any such illnesses should also be reported to state or local health authorities.