Nestle recalls Toll House cookie dough after E. coli warning

E. coli bacteria is seen in an undated microscopic image courtesy of the CDC. REUTERS/Handout

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Nestle’s U.S. baking division said on Friday that it was voluntarily recalling its Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of the risk of contamination with E. coli bacteria.

Nestle said the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were investigating reports of illnesses caused by E. coli O157:H7 in consumers who also reported having eaten raw cookie dough. E. coli can cause abdominal cramping, vomiting and diarrhea, the FDA said.

Since March, the FDA said, there have been 66 reports of illness across 28 states. Twenty-five people were hospitalized, according to the FDA, and no one has died.

“We want to strongly advise consumers that raw cookie dough should not be eaten,” Nestle said in a statement. “This message also appears prominently on our packaging.”

Nestle said the products involved in the recall included all varieties of Nestle Toll House refrigerated Cookie Bar Dough, Cookie Dough Tub, Cookie Dough Tube, Limited Edition Cookie Dough items, Seasonal Cookie Dough and Ultimates Cookie Bar Dough.

The FDA advised consumers to throw the products away. It said cooking the dough was not recommended because consumers might get the bacteria on their hands and cooking surfaces.

Reporting by Nicole Maestri; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn