5 Washington E. coli cases linked to cookie dough - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

5 Washington E. coli cases linked to cookie dough

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SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Regional Health District is urging people to check their refrigerators and to throw out any Nestle Toll House Prepackaged, Refrigerated Cookie Dough.

 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning you not to eat any varieties of prepackaged Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough due to the risk of contamination with E. coli, a bacterium that causes food borne illness.

"E. coli infection can be very serious," says Dr. Joel McCullough, Health Officer for the Spokane Regional Health District. "We want people to throw this product out, or take it back for a refund."

Cooking the dough is not recommended because you might get the bacteria on your hands and on other cooking surfaces.

Retailers, restaurateurs and personnel at other food-service operations should not 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 persons were hospitalized; 7 with a severe complication called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). No one has died.

E. coli causes abdominal cramping, vomiting and a diarrheal illness, often with bloody stools. Most healthy adults can recover completely within a week. Young children and the elderly are at highest risk for developing HUS, which can lead to serious kidney damage and even death. 

If you have eaten prepackaged, refrigerated Toll House cookie dough within the last 2 weeks and who have had any of these symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider immediately.

Any such illnesses should be reported to state or local health authorities.

If you have additional questions about these products, you should contact Nestle consumer services at 1-800-559-5025.

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