San Mateo teen sues Nestle over cookie dough

June 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A San Carlos teenager filed a lawsuit against food-giant Nestle on Monday, saying she became horribly ill after eating raw cookie dough. The FDA is investigating whether the dough is contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Nestle has already issued a recall.

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Jillian Collins, 18, admits she got a little carried away when she sampled the cookie dough last month while making cookies for her brother.

"I probably finished off maybe a quarter or half the log itself. It's not something I'm proud of, but my worst concerns from eating that much cookie dough was oh my god, I'm going to gain some weight, not oh my god, I'm going to get E. coli," said Collins.

However, about a week later she felt so sick her parents rushed her to an urgent care clinic. She was stunned and horrified when doctors told her she was infected with E. coli.

"Oh gosh, that means I ingested fecal matter," said Collins.

The bacteria is usually carried in animal feces, so it would be unusual to find in the cookie dough. The FDA hasn't ruled out deliberate contamination.

"Typically raw cookie dough produced by a manufacturer like this is made from pasteurized eggs and ingredients that are safe," said FDA Food Safety Chief David Acheson.

At least 66 people have become sick -- possibly from eating Nestle's raw cookie dough. Nestle points out the E. coli strain has not been found in its product. It is cooperating with the FDA, which is investigating and has recalled the dough. Regardless, Collins is convinced the dough made her sick and has filed suit against Nestle.

"I almost missed my graduation because of this I was in the hospital for seven days with so much pain. I don't feel bad about this; it's Nestle that should feel bad. I'm not the only one that got sick," said Collins.

Nestle issued a statement saying, "We have not reviewed the suit ,so we can offer no comment on it, but we're obviously very concerned about those who have become ill and also grateful to know that they are recovering."

The FDA says people with any Nestle cookie dough should throw it out and if they have eaten any and start to feel sick, they should call their doctor immediately.

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