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July 10, 2009

US: E. coli “not detected” in Nestle facility

US food safety officials have not detected E. coli inside a Nestle Danville facility following the discovery of a strain of the bacterium in a sample of the company's cookie dough last month.

US food safety officials have not detected E. coli inside a Nestle Danville facility following the discovery of a strain of the bacterium in a sample of the company’s cookie dough last month.

Nestle said on Thursday (9 July) that federal investigators had spent “more than a week” at its plant in Virginia and did not detect E. coli O157:H7 inside the factory or on equipment and that its own testing reflected the same results.

Last month, Nestle voluntarily recalled its Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products after the FDA suspected consumers may have been exposed to the bacteria after eating the dough raw.

On 29 June, the FDA confirmed evidence of E. coli., which has caused 69 cases of illness in 29 states across the US.

“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.

Nestle said that “more than 1,000 tests” have been performed at the Danville facility, including “extensive environmental sampling and analyses”.

The company said that “controlled production” is being phased-in on “a few” production lines.

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