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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli and Cookie Dough Should Not Mix

The CDC says 72 persons infected with a strain of E. coli O157:H7 with a particular DNA fingerprint have been reported from 30 states. Of these, 51 have been confirmed by an advanced DNA test as having the outbreak strain; these confirmatory test results are pending on the others. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (2), California (3), Colorado (6), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Georgia (1), Iowa (2), Illinois (5), Kentucky (2), Massachusetts (4), Maryland (2), Maine (3), Minnesota (6), Missouri (1), Montana (1), North Carolina (2), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), Nevada (2), New York (1), Ohio (3), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (1), Texas (3), Utah (4), Virginia (2), Washington (6), and Wisconsin (1).

Now, here is a question – you must assume that some of these people had left-over cookie dough and that local, state and federal health authorities have tested some of it?  So, results?  Same E. coli?  Same E. coli O157:H7?  Different E. coli?  Different bugs?

And, what about the retained sample of cookie dough from the Nestle Danville, Virginia plant?  We know the FDA and CDC said it tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, but is it the same genetic fingerprint as the E. coli O157:H7 found in the stools of the 72 ill people?

Thursday should be interesting.