SOLON, Ohio, July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Nestle USA's Baking Division continues to work closely and in full cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on an investigation into E. coli O157:H7 illnesses associated with the consumption of raw, refrigerated cookie dough. On June 29, 2009, the FDA confirmed evidence of E. coli O157:H7 in a retained production sample of 16.5 oz. Nestle Toll House refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough bar. The product has a day code of 9041 and a "Best before 10 JUN 2009" notation. "We are very concerned about those who have become ill from E. coli O157:H7 and deeply regret that this has occurred," said Paul Bakus, General Manager of Nestle's Baking Division.
Today, the FDA provided its summary findings resulting from its recent inspection of the Nestle Danville facility. The report is called a "Form FDA 483". The 483 reflects the inspector's observations and is designed to ensure that the company's manufacturing operations are in compliance with current regulatory requirements.
Federal investigators, who spent more than a week at the Danville facility, did not detect E. coli O157:H7 inside the factory or on equipment. Nestle testing reflects the same results.
The 483 reported two observations. Neither of these observations is believed to have any relationship to the presence of E. coli O157:H7 found in the retained production sample. The first observation was related to the design of a gate valve used on a hopper for dry ingredients. The valve required a smoother and more polished surface to allow for easier cleaning. The second observation noted by the FDA was condensate dripping from a refrigeration pipe onto a metal "rake" (i.e., a large metal spatula) used to scrape cookie dough from the mixer. Both of the observations have been corrected.
As part of the inspection, and through additional independent testing, more than 1,000 tests have been performed at the Danville facility, including extensive environmental sampling and analyses. Nestle also dismantled its production lines for thorough inspection, conducted extensive testing on equipment and ingredients, and has carefully reviewed its quality and food safety procedures. To validate these procedures, a controlled production is being phased-in on a few production lines. Scientists from the FDA, CDC, and The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been working along with nine Nestle PhD microbiologists on this comprehensive investigation.
The recall also does not include any Nestle Professional(TM) cookie dough products that were destined for foodservice use, including frozen Nestle Toll House cookie dough and cookie dough "mix-ins" purchased outside the home.
Consumers who purchased the recalled products should not consume them. Instead, we ask that consumers return these products to their local grocer for a full refund. We also strongly advise consumers that cookie dough should not be eaten raw as our product labels caution. Consumers with questions should contact Nestle Consumer Services at 1-800-559-5025 or visit our web site at www.verybestbaking.com.
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