- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nestle recalls cookie dough

NEW YORK | Federal authorities are investigating a new outbreak of a bacteria-triggered illness, this time related to packaged raw cookie dough.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said its preliminary investigation shows “a strong association” between eating raw refrigerated cookie dough made by Nestle and the illnesses of 65 people in 29 states whose lab results have turned up e. coli bacteria since March.

About 25 of those people have been hospitalized, but no one has died. E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure.

Nestle USA voluntarily recalled all of its Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised consumers to throw away any Nestle Toll House cookie dough products in their homes and asked retailers, restaurateurs and other food service operations not to sell or serve any of the refrigerated cookie dough products.

Customers also can return any recalled product where they bought it for a full refund. The recall does not affect other Toll House products, including ice cream that contains raw Toll House dough.

Union is sued in election case

TRENTON, N.J. | The U.S. Department of Labor has sued the Communications Workers of America over suspected union election improprieties.

The suit is in response to a complaint filed by New Jersey labor leader Carla Katz. It seeks to void results of a June 2008 contest in which Ms. Katz ran for higher union office.

Ms. Katz, who once dated Gov. Jon Corzine, lost a bid to become vice president of a district representing more than 190,000 members in the Northeast. The suit was filed in Federal District Court in Washington in February, but not reported until Friday.

Ms. Katz was defeated by incumbent Christopher Shelton, who led contract talks with the Corzine administration that resulted in an agreement opposed by Ms. Katz. She opposed that deal because it cut health and pension benefits for state workers, but it was approved by workers and the state.

The CWA later suspended Ms. Katz as president of Local 1034 and moved to expel her. Her appeal is pending, as is a federal lawsuit alleging CWA retaliated against her for opposing the contract and running against Mr. Shelton.

CDC: Swine flu cases near 21,500

ATLANTA | The national count of swine flu cases has risen to 21,449 cases and the number of deaths have nearly doubled to 87.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the number of confirmed and probable cases Friday morning. The tally is up from the last week’s count of 18,000 cases and 44 deaths.

Wisconsin, Illinois and Texas have had the most reported illnesses, and the Illinois count rose more than 500 since the last report. But CDC officials say much of the most recent flu activity has been in the Northeast. A quarter of the new deaths were in New York.

Paterson threatens extra Senate session

ALBANY, N.Y. | Gov. David Paterson will call a special session of the state Senate on Wednesday if battling senators fail to resolve a two-week power struggle, a state official said.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity Friday because the governor hasn’t yet announced his plan.

Mr. Paterson, a Democrat, would compel senators to convene if they don’t settle the leadership question by Monday, the regular session’s last day.

Senators would have to meet, but Mr. Paterson can’t make them vote.

The state official said Mr. Paterson is preparing a list of essential legislation requiring action, most of which will extend laws about to expire. Some measures will let New York City and other local governments arrange taxing or borrowing.

The dispute has put the Senate in gridlock since June 8.

Rare condor chick hatches on cliff

SAN DIEGO | The San Diego Zoo says a rare California condor chick has hatched on a rocky cliff in Baja California.

The zoo announced the hatching Thursday. It’s only the second time a condor chick has hatched in Mexico since the zoo reintroduced the critically endangered species to the area in 2002.

The other hatched in 2007, but disappeared a month later.

Zoo officials say the latest chick has been immunized against West Nile virus, after biologists rappeled 330 feet down the cliff to get to its nest. The condor is in Baja’s Sierra San Pedro de Martir National Park, and officials say it is about 45 days old.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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