Your Health

Bacteria Found In Toll House Dough, But None Leaves Factory

Just as last summer's contamination of Nestle Toll House cookie dough by a dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria had just about faded into history, the company said there were problems with a recent batch.

Nestle Toll House cookie dough. i i

Some nasty bacteria showed up in Nestle's Toll House cookie dough but didn't make it out of the factory. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Nestle Toll House cookie dough.

Some nasty bacteria showed up in Nestle's Toll House cookie dough but didn't make it out of the factory.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The company found two samples of Toll House refrigerated cookie dough that tested positive for the bacteria, Nestle USA said in a statement. But unlike before, no cookie dough is being recalled because none of it left the factory.

The contaminated dough was manufactured at the same factory in Danville, Virginia, which was implicated in last year's outbreak.

While the bad ingredient was never fingered in 2009, Nestle suspects the culprit this time around is flour. Not eggs or milk, but flour. So Nestle now says it is now using "heat-treated flour" to make the ready-to-cook cookie dough.

NYU food guru and author of What to Eat, Marion Nestle (rhymes with trestle, for your information) wrote, "This is odd. How do they know that the flour is the carrier?" on her blog, Food Politics.

To get to the bottom of how flour was found to be the root of the problem, we contacted Nestle USA. "While we may never know for certain that flour is the source of E. coli O157:H7, we believe that heat-treated flour helps eliminate a potential variable and further ensures the safety of our product," Edie Burge, manager of corporate & brand affairs for Nestle USA, answered in an e-mail.

Burge noted that "the culprit in last summer's outbreak was never identified, however, the FDA had spoken publicly about flour being a potential culprit." She said the company is "determined to find the source and will go back (through the ingredients) as far as necessary."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.