FDA probes ingredient supply chain in quest for E. coli source

Related tags Food and drug administration

The FDA is continuing its investigation into how E. coli found its way into Nestle’s Toll House brand cookie dough, after the outbreak strain’s presence was confirmed in a sample of the dough on Monday.

Inspectors did not find E. coli on any of the Danville, Virginia plant’s equipment or workers, so the investigation is now centered on the ingredient supply chain, starting with its flour supplier, to try and isolate the outbreak’s source. However, none of the main ingredients in the dough is known to host E. coli.

However, David Acheson, assistant commissioner for food safety at the Food and Drug Administration, said: "It raises the likelihood that it was an ingredient. And it really means that industry has to be constantly vigilant, because foods we think of as low risk could be contaminated with a deadly pathogen."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 72 people have been sickened by the outbreak strain across 30 states.

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