JUNEAU — The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is notifying the public of a product recall. Manufacturer Nestle USA has voluntarily recalled all varieties of prepackaged, refrigerated Toll House cookie dough due to a risk of contamination with E. coli O157:H7.
Some of the affected cookie dough has been sold in Alaska. There have been no reported illnesses related to the product in Alaska.
Eating the product raw could be dangerous. Cooking also could pose risks by contaminating kitchen surfaces with E. coli. DEC recommends consumers throw away any packages of Toll House cookie dough that have been opened or return unopened packages to retail outlets.
The recall is based on an ongoing epidemiological study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and several state and local health departments. According to the study there have been 66 reports of illness in more than two dozen states since March 2009. To date, 25 people have been hospitalized, seven with a severe complication called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. Several of those sickened had eaten the raw cookie dough. There have been no deaths.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and people with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to severe complications of this food-borne illness. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should contact a health-care provider immediately.
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