Tuesday, June 23, 2009

E.coli outbreak in cookie dough-- How are you keeping your customers safe?

On Friday, June 12, Nestle recalled all of its refrigerated cookie dough after receiving a product recall recommendation from the FDA. It has yet to be proven what product has been contaminated, but 70 people in 30 states with E.coli strain O157 have eaten raw Nestle cookie dough. E.coli O157 is a very dangerous strain of E.coli that is usually found in contaminated meat. Most adults get better in about a week, but serious kidney damage and death can also occur. Of the 70 known to be infected, 25 had to be hospitalized and 7 had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.

Dr. David Acheson, associate professor for foods at the FDA has said, "You can't assume it's the usual ground beef or fresh produce." In the past 2 years, there have been major recalls involving peanut butter, pistachios, and frozen pot pies. With a growing list of contaminated product types, identifying a specific contaminant has gotten increasingly more difficult. The FDA is still investigating the cause of the E.coli O157 contamination. They are unsure if a certain ingredient was contaminated or if it was the facility. The facility has been closed temporarily and will lay off more than 200 workers.

NY Times article

CNN article

As a food producer, what are you doing to keep your customers safe? Do you inspect your ingredients (both produced externally and those produced by you) for potential pathogens? Do you have frequent food safety audits (both internally and by an outside lab)? Have your customers raised more concerns recently about food safety?

As a consumer, have you become more concerned about food safety? What can a food producer do to make you feel more reassured about the safety of your food?


c said...
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Lisa said...
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