Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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2009 Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Linked to Nestle Raw Refrigerated Prepackaged Cookie Dough

Eighty ill persons infected with a single strain of E. coli O157:H7 were identified in at least 31 states. At least 70 of these illnesses were confirmed by an advanced DNA test as being the same strain of E.coli O157: H7. An epidemiological study indicated a strong association between eating raw, prepackaged, cookie dough and infection; Nestle Toll House brand cookie dough was mentioned by most ill persons who had reported eating cookie dough. On June 29, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration announced that they had found E.coli O157:H7 in a package of cookie dough that had been collected from a Nestle plant on June 25. The strain identified from the package was different from the outbreak strain. E.coli O157:H7 infection had not been previously associated with eating raw cookie dough. The strain of E.coli O157:H7 associated with this outbreak had been associated with earlier outbreaks going back to February, 2005. Although the investigation found no conclusive evidence that contaminated flour was the outbreak source, contaminated flour remained the prime suspect in this outbreak. A single, large purchase of contaminated flour could have been used to manufacture multiple lots and varieties of dough over time as was consistent with the variety of UBD codes on product packages from ill consumers.

  • Outbreak began:
  • March 2009
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California, Arizona, New York, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Idaho, Georgia, Maine, New Jersey, South Carolina
  • Organism(s):
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Raw Cookie Dough Grains, Flour
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • PFGE-Xbal-pattern EXHX01.0224 and Binl-pattern EXHA26.0536
  • Location(s):
  • Many
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Nestle Toll House Cookie and Brownie Dough
  • Total ill:
  • 80
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 80
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 35
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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