Archive for the ‘Nestlé USA’ Category

Your Recall Hit Parade

July 11, 2009

Plainview Milk Products recall surpasses 200 products

The Plainview Milk Products Association recall continues, ensnaring more than 200 products so far. After issuing a recall going back two years, this recall – like the one for Peanut Corporation of America earlier this year – will continue to grow, pulling in quite a few different companies. Two weeks ago, Plainview issued a recall for several of its products after one of its customers found traces of Salmonella contamination in a product containing ingredients from Plainview.

Plainview doesn’t sell directly to consumers, but its products – whey protein, milk powder, gums, and fruit stabilizers – are sold to food processors around the country. So far, the most widely recalled product is powdered milk often sold under store brand names. There are plenty of additional foods being pulled in, however: cake mixes, instant sauces, oat meal, and more.  Additional information

JBS Swift recall now includes Costco

The JBS Swift Beef Co. recall continues, as well. The Colorado meat processor has recalled more than 400,000 pounds of whole muscle cuts – the larger cuts from which stores and other processors derive the more familiar, smaller cuts such as chuck roasts or processed foods such as sausage – because of possible contamination with E. coli.  The most recent addition? Costco customers in northern California are being warned that two Morton’s of Omaha products are now on the list: Classic Tri-tip and Rosemary, Garlic and Chardonnay seasoned tri-tip are being recalled. Additional information

Nestlé investigation finds no E. coli in factory or equipment

The Nestlé Toll House cookie dough recall is still underway, as is the investigation at the plant in Danville, Va., where the ready-to-bake cookie dough is made. Nestlé today announced that investigators with the Food and Drug Administration have not found any E. coli contamination in either the plant or the equipment after more than a week of tests.


Nestlé is now planning to do a few production test runs using new batches of flour, margarine, and eggs, according to company spokeswoman, Edie Burge, but no date has been set yet for renewed production. Not yet, anyway. Nestlé has no plans to leave the ready-to-bake cookie dough market, Burge added. Additional information

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E. coli found in factory sample of Nestle Toll House dough

June 30, 2009

Investigators with the FDA have found evidence of E. Coli in a package of Nestlé Toll House cookie dough at the company’s Danville, Va., plant.

The discovery comes nearly two weeks after Nestlé USA closed the plant following the news the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control had linked a nationwide outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 with Nestlé’s popular ready-to-bake cookie dough. Nestlé closed its plant the day after it received the information from the government agencies and issued a recall of about 300,000 cases of the product.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Edie Burge, a spokeswoman for Nestlé at its Glendale, Calif., offices.

While obtaining a contaminated sample was key to the investigation, the question of just how E. coli got into the Danville plant has yet to be answered, and investigators will continue their work with further testing, said Burge.

The Danville factory is actually home to production of two Nestlé brands: Toll House cookie dough, and Buitoni, which makes fresh pasta. The Buitoni side of the operations have been unaffected by the contamination and work has continued there. The Toll House plant has been closed for 11 days and its more-than-200 employees are being offered paid time off or shifts in the Buitoni plant as they become available, said Burge.

Sixty-nine people in 29 states have been made ill with E. coli, allegedly as a result of eating raw cookie dough from Nestlé. Forty-six of those ill are confirmed to have the outbreak strain, and 34 persons have been hospitalized. Nine developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure; no one has died.

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Nestlé disputes Wall Street Journal story

June 27, 2009

Nestlé USA is disputing the accuracy of a story that appeared in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. The article, written by health reporter Shirley Wang, reported that Nestlé “refused to give the FDA access to certain records, such as those involving pest-control and consumer complaints, during earlier inspections in recent years”.the_wall_street_journal_logo

Nestlé has been in the midst of a massive recall of its ready-to-bake Toll House cookie dough after the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control found what they believe is a link between the cookie dough and at least 70 cases of E. coli contamination in 30 states around the country. The FDA is still investigating the company’s Danville, Va., plant where Nestlé has suspended production of the ready-to-bake dough until they receive an all-clear.

The inspection in question, however, took place over two days in September, 2006, during which an inspector identified “four objectionable conditions or deficiencies” he felt needed attention, ranging from a few “ant-like insects” in a sugar dumping station, to a leaking pipe. The matters were discussed with a plant supervisor who agreed to take care of the problems, apparently to the inspector’s satisfaction.nestle_logo

At the same inspection, the FDA investigator also requested access to various records, which the FDA’s report says was denied by Nestlé.

“Companies can attempt to make conditions on what they will or will not permit during an inspection,” said Stephanie Kwisnek, a spokesperson for the FDA, “and some companies have a policy that they will outline this for our investigator at the beginning of the inspection. However, by law, they must provide the FDA with access to the records that the agency is entitled to under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and associated regulations.”

The Wall Street Journal story is “very misleading” said Laurie McDonald, a spokeswoman for Nestlé USA. “It looks as if we’re not cooperating and we are.”

The FDA agreed.

“Nestlé is cooperating fully with the FDA in this current inspection and is providing the necessary documentation,” said Kwisnek. “The company is also taking its own sampling, including both product and environmental swabs and is sharing its test results with the FDA.”

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No leads yet in E. coli outbreak

June 25, 2009

Investigation at Nestlé’s Virginia plant by FDA continues

Speculation about the possible contamination of a popular brand of ready-to-bake cookie dough with E. coli O157:H7 continues, but so far there have been no leads.

It’s been a week since officials at Nestlé USA, based in Solon, Ohio, learned about a possible link to their Toll House cookie dough in a nationwide outbreak of E. coli. So far, at least 70 people have been sickened in 30 states, and 30 of those people have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Seven of the victims developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure. No one has died.

Nestlé, in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC, is investigating whether their product is the source of the contamination, and just how E. coli may have ended up in their product. They issued a full recall of 300,000 cases of the cookie dough immediately after being notified by the FDA of the possible link to their company last week, and have closed their production facility in Virginia while the investigation continues.

“We just don’t know at this point,” said Nestlé spokeswoman Edie Burge early this afternoon. The FDA is looking at “every aspect of production,” she said, from the water the plant uses to operating procedures, and the manufacturing plant’s air control system.

Two lawsuits have been filed against Nestlé by people in California and Colorado, and another family in Oregon has asked for an apology from Nestle for the illness their teenage daughter suffered after eating what they believe was contaminated cookie dough.

“We just learned about this issue last week and reacted as quickly as we could,” Laurie MacDonald, vice president of corporate and brand affairs, told the Portland Oregonian earlier this week. “If it is determined that our product is the source of the girl’s illness, we will certainly apologize to her and her parents.”

If people do become ill, Nestlé encourages them to contact their physician, said Burge.

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Anyone up for a game of Clue?

June 23, 2009

Colonel Mustard

Speculation about the source of the E. coli 0157:H7 is still up in the in air, but it might make for an exciting parlor game. Anyone up for a game of Clue?

“So, how the hell does cow shit (E. coli O157:H7) get into Nestles’ Toll House cookie dough?” wonders Seattle attorney Bill Marler, in his blog.

“For starters, we don’t really know yet whether raw cookie dough is the source of this E. coli outbreak,” replied nutritionist and writer Marion Nestle in Food Politics. “It could be something else, and Nestlé will have recalled 300,000 cases purely out of precaution.  The most likely source of bacterial contamination is eggs, but eggs typically carry Salmonella, not E. coli O157:H7.   And besides, the eggs in raw cookie dough are undoubtedly pasteurized, which ought to kill any bacteria that happen to be present.”

More than 65 people in 28 states have been made ill since March, according to the Food and Drug Administration, and 25 of those were hospitalized. No one has died, but seven people have suffered hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, as a result.

For the record, Nestlé does use pasteurized eggs in its cookie dough, according to Edie Burge, a spokesperson for the company in Glendale, Calif.

What’s significant about this particular outbreak is the contamination, itself. E. coli, as Marler so eloquently noted, is typically found in meat. The major ground beef recalls over the past several years have almost all been linked to E. coli contamination after fecal-contaminated muscle tissue is ground in with meat from other animals.

“A single fast food hamburger now contains meat from dozens or even hundreds of different animals,” journalist Eric Schlosser wrote in Fast Food Nation. Of course, we’re not talking about hamburger, here. The ingredients for Nestle Chocolate Chip Toll House cookie dough certainly don’t list any ingredients that could raise suspicion, except for the eggs (Thanks to Fooducate for the ingredients listing).

“Bleached Enriched Flour, Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Nestle Toll House Morsels, Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Milkfat, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin – an Artificial Flavor, Natural Flavor, Sugar, Margarine, Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Water, Salt, Whey, Soy Lecithin, Mono-, Diglycerides, Artificial Flavor, Beta-Carotene Color, Vitamin A Palmitate Added, Water, Eggs, Molasses, Baking Soda, Salt, Vanilla Extract, Vanillin – an Artificial Flavor.”

A Dutch study published in 2002 even suggests that milk fats may inhibit growth of food-borne pathogens, although it noted that E. coli was less vulnerable to milk fat’s bactericidal properties. Vegetable oils, too, can inhibit growth of pathogens. Other ingredients, such as water, are being tested by the FDA.

It’s possible, then, that contaminated eggs somehow made it into the product, or that the contamination came from in house. It’s too early to speculate, as Burge noted, and the investigation at Nestle’s Danville, Va., plant is really just getting underway. Until then, it could very easily have been Col. Mustard in the library – with the candlestick, no doubt.

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Nestlé plant under investigation

June 23, 2009


The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the production plant in Danville, Va., where Nestlé makes its Toll House cookie dough. Nestlé recalled 48 varieties of its Toll House cookie dough after it learned last Wednesday about a possible connection between a 28-state outbreak of E. coli 0157:H and its popular ready-to-bake product.

Nestlé announced the recall Friday morning, telling customers not to consume the dough and encouraging customers to return any product they might have for refunds. More than 65 people have fallen ill since March, according to the FDA, and 25 of those were hospitalized. No one has died, but seven people have suffered hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, as a result.

Nestlé suspended production last Thursday so the FDA could examine the plant, as well as the equipment and the company’s procedures to pinpoint the source of the contamination, said Edie Burge, a spokesperson for Nestlé. The company’s consumer analysis group has been poring over customer comments and feedback dating back to March looking for any information about the outbreak that might have come to them earlier.

For now, nothing in the plant has been changed since production ended and the FDA started its investigation, said Burge.  “We want them to come into our factory and see the conditions as they are,” she said.

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Recall Friday

November 14, 2008
The Food Safety and Inspection Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture, or the Food and Drug Administration, has issued the following recall(s) over the past week:

Nov. 8: R. L. Zeigler Co., Inc., a Selma, Ala., firm, is recalling approximately 28,610 pounds of hot dog products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This is a Class I recall, categorized as a high risk to health. (More information.)

Nov. 7: Barber Foods Company, a Portland, Maine, establishment, is recalling approximately 41,415 pounds of frozen stuffed chicken products that may contain foreign materials. This is a Class I recall, categorized as a high risk to health. (More information.)

Nov. 7: Nestlé USA, of Glendale, Calif., is voluntarily recalling two production codes of Nestlé Nesquik Strawberry Powder 21.8 ounce that may contain small fragments of aluminum. (More information.)

Nov. 7: Amy’s Kitchen Inc. of Santa Rosa, Calif., is voluntarily recalling Tofu Scramble in a Pocket Sandwich Lot 10 H148, because of the presence of milk in a product that is labeled non-dairy. The 4.0 oz net wt frozen product, sold in U.S. grocery stores, comes in a retail package labeled as Amy’s Tofu Scramble in a Pocket Sandwich. (More information.)