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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2009

State Public Health Director Warns of Potential Hazard in Recalled Cookie Dough
Illinois reports 5 cases of illness matching nationwide outbreak

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is warning consumers not to eat recalled Nestle Toll House Prepackaged Refrigerated Cookie Dough due to the risk of possible contamination with E. coli O157:H7, a bacterium that causes food borne illness.  In Illinois, there have been five Illinois residents with illnesses matching the pattern reported in a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7.  The CDC has reported more than 60 cases nationwide in more than 25 states.
  
“I urge people to check their shelves for the recalled Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough and throw it out.  This product has been recalled due to possible contamination with E. coli O157:H7 and should be thrown out. Consumers can call the store where they purchased the product to inquire about a refund or throw it out, but just make sure you don’t eat it,” said Dr. Arnold.

Although cooking would kill the organism, cooking the cookie dough is not recommended because consumers might get the bacteria on their hands and on other cooking surfaces.

E. coli O157:H7 can cause diarrhea, often bloody diarrhea.  Although most healthy adults recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure, which can lead to serious kidney damage and even death. 

People who have symptoms and have recently eaten prepackaged, refrigerated Nestle Toll House cookie dough should contact their doctor immediately.  Health care providers who suspect this strain of E. coli should order cultures and report suspected cases to their local health department. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health continues to work with local health departments, the FDA and CDC on this outbreak investigation.
         
IDPH encourages people to use safe food-handling practices when preparing prepackaged products such as cookie dough, including following package directions for cooking at proper temperatures, washing hands, surfaces, and utensils after contact with these types of products, avoiding cross contamination, and refrigerating products properly.

Consumers with questions about the recalled products should contact Nestle consumer services at 1-800-559-5025 and/or visit their website at www.verybestbaking.com.

For a complete listing of the recalled products go to: http://www.nestleusa.com/PubNews/PressReleaseLibraryDetails.aspx?id=133CC131-A79F-4E84-9C43-C9F99FE5BC99.



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