A College of Charleston student who wanted a sweet indulgence during her stressful exam time became one of 70 cases of E. coli illnesses reported nationwide.
Nineteen-year-old Margo Moskowitz, who's now home in Staunton, Va. for the summer, was hospitalized for six days in May after she had one cookie's worth of dough from a package of Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough.
The arts management major, who recently completed her junior year, said the illness started with fatigue and built up to stomach pain that was "so bad I thought I needed an appendectomy," she said Tuesday.
Health officials, who finally traced her case to refrigerated cookie dough, have recorded cases in 30 states, prompting Nestle to issue a voluntary recall of some products on Friday. Company officials traced the outbreak to a Nestle plant in Danville, Va.
The recall includes refrigerated cookie bar dough, cookie dough tub, cookie dough tubes, limited edition cookie dough items, seasonal cookie dough and Ultimates cookie bar dough. It does not affect any other Toll House products.
Stores and food service operators were advised to throw away the affected products. Moskowitz got the dough at a small independent grocery store in downtown Charleston that she declined to identify, saying the outbreak was not the store's fault.
"It's sort of funny to talk about because it's just cookie dough, but people don't realize that I caught a life-threatening illness over making cookies," she said.