E-Coli in Cookie Dough. Really?

July 1, 2009

How does that even happen?  E-coli is a bacteria found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded animals.  I suppose I can understand E-coli poisoning from undercooked beef.  But cookie dough?

What are the conditions of the facility where this cookie dough is produced that allow for contamination of E-coli?  I can see it now, the cow carcass is hanging with it’s three foot-long tongue next to it (seriously, I’ve been in a slaughterhouse, and the cow flesh hangs from a really big hook while the tongue hangs next to the carcass on a smaller hook), and the Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Dough mixer person is mixing, by hand of course, cookie dough right by the carcass.  But wait.  For E-coli contamination, the cookie dough is going to have to come into contact with the cow’s feces.  I won’t go into a scenario there, but you get the idea.

Nestle would like us to return the cookie dough for a refund and trust them next time, but I don’t know that that’s the best solution.  This is not just a problem with Nestle–after all, they are probably the inventors of the modern-day chocolate chip cookie–but it’s a problem with manufacturing.  I don’t think this problem is easily corrected, since there is such a corporate foothold in our nation, but we owe it to ourselves to push for changes.  How can we do that?  The easiest way is to make our own cookie dough (what’s that?  You want me to cook for myself!).  I’m lazy too, so I’m not pointing any fingers, but this is another situation that the consumer (I) has (have) created.  Manufacturers are simply responding to the desire for convenience.

Of course there is organic cookie dough, and that will likely eliminate the risk of E-coli, but I think this is more than organic vs. not.  In our era of speed and convenience, I think the only effective change might be to slow down and inconvenience ourselves.  Maybe we should deliberately take our time.  Maybe we should take on a task that we might normally pay somebody to do for us.  Not to beat a dead cow (a reference to the slaughterhouse above…get it?), but this isn’t as much about making our own cookie dough as it is about awareness of what’s in our food and where our food comes from.

Just a thought.  I’m just puttin’ it out there; if you like it, you can take it.  If you don’t, send it right back.

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One Response to “E-Coli in Cookie Dough. Really?”

  1. […] I don’t want be redundant here, so if you want to read more, visit some of my older posts.   As far as legislation goes, The Farm Bill is set to expire in 2012, and Congress is currently […]

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