NEW YORK (AP) - Nestle USA on Friday voluntarily recalled its Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products after a number of illnesses were reported by those who ate the dough raw.
The company said the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control are investigating reported E. coli illnesses that might be related eating the dough.
In a statement, the FDA said there have been 66 reports of illness across 28 states since March. About 25 people have been hospitalized, but no one has died.
The FDA advised consumers to throw away any prepackaged, refrigerated Nestle Toll House cookie dough products in their homes. Retailers, restauranteurs and employees at other food-service operations should also not sell or serve any of the products.
Nestle spokeswoman Roz O'Hearn said "this has been a very quickly moving situation," adding the company took action less than 24 hours after hearing of the problem.
O'Hearn said the company will "cooperate fully" with the FDA's
The recall includes refrigerated cookie bar dough, cookie dough tub, cookie dough tubes, limited edition cookie dough items, seasonal cookie dough and Ultimates cookie bar dough. It extends to chocolate chip dough and other varieties, including gingerbread, sugar and peanut butter cookie dough. It does not affect any other Toll House products, including ice cream that contains Toll House raw cookie dough.
The FDA also said consumers should not try to cook the dough, even though eating cooked dough would be safe, because consumers might get bacteria on their hands and on counters and other cooking surfaces.
E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure.
AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)