The number of people sickened and hospitalized due to E. coli food poisoning has continued to grow after the recent Nestle Toll House cookie dough recall and JBS Swift Beef Co. recall, according to the latest reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At least 72 people in 30 states have reportedly been identified as part of the E. coli food poisoning outbreak associated with eating raw, refrigerated Toll House cookie dough sold by Nestle USA. The CDC has confirmed that at least 51 of those cases involve people who have the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria linked to the cookie dough.
The cookie dough food poisoning outbreak has caused 34 people to be hospitalized and 10 have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which is a type of kidney disease. Most of the victims have been females under the age of 19, but people impacted range between 2 years old and 65 years old.
The CDC also reports that at least 23 people in nine states have reportedly become ill from beef E. coli food poisoning linked to recalls issued by JBS Swift Beef Co. over the past two weeks, involving more than 420,000 pounds of assorted beef products. At least 12 of the people involved in that E. coli outbreak have been hospitalized and two have suffered from HUS.
The E. coli O157:H7 bacteria can cause serious food poisoning symptoms like bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps, and in some cases can be fatal. While most people typically recover in about a week, more severe cases can lead to hospitalization or HUS.
Children under the age of five, the elderly and those with a weak immune system are typically the most susceptible to severe E. coli infections. In the case of both outbreaks, federal agencies have as yet been unable to determine the source of the E. coli contamination.
The Nestle cookie dough recall encompasses all prepackaged and refrigerated uncooked Toll House cookie dough. Even though most of the reported illnesses involved eating the cookie dough raw, the CDC still warns against trying to cook it, as the bacteria could spread during preparation.
The recalled beef was shipped in boxes that bear the establishment number “EST. 969” inside the USDA mark of inspection, with an identifying package date of “042109” or “042209” and a time stamp of “0618” to “1130.” However, in many cases the meat may have been reprocesses into ground beef or other forms and may no longer carry the establishment number. The beef products include a variety of bottom sirloin cuts, intact cuts of beef and a variety of other products.
There have been at least two cookie dough food poisoning lawsuits filed in connection to the cookie dough outbreak, both on behalf of young teen or preteen girls who were hospitalized due to cookie dough food poisoning. No known beef recall lawsuits have yet been filed against JBS Swift Beef.