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Salmonella outbreak in WA likely linked to Papa Murphy’s cookie dough

The Washington State Department of Health is investigating several cases of salmonella likely linked to raw take-and-bake cookie dough products from Papa Murphy’s.

Papa Murphy’s raw chocolate chip cookie dough and raw s’mores bars dough products should be immediately thrown away, the department said in a news release. People should not consume these products.

Washington currently has six salmonella cases among people ages 15 to 54 in six counties, spanning multiple Papa Murphy’s locations across the state: Clark (1), King (1), Lincoln (1), Pierce (1), Spokane (1) and Whatcom (1). One person has been hospitalized, according to DOH.

Four of the six people reported eating the brand’s raw take-and-bake cookie dough products, which are meant to be cooked before eating.  

The health department, along with local and federal public health partners, does not yet know which ingredient in the cookie dough is the source of the contamination. Both raw flour and eggs can contain salmonella.

Papa Murphy’s has since discontinued selling raw cookie dough products, the department said.

Salmonellosis is a common bacterial infection caused by any of more than 2,000 strains of salmonella. These bacteria infect the intestinal tract and occasionally the blood of both humans and animals, causing diarrhea, fever, chills, abdominal discomfort and occasional vomiting, according to DOH.

Symptoms typically appear one to three days after exposure and can last four to seven days, usually resolving on its own with fluids and rest. People younger than 5, 65 and older or with weakened immune systems may experience more severe illnesses.

To prevent infection, the department recommends thoroughly washing and sanitizing utensils and surfaces that may have touched the cookie dough products. Raw cookie dough should always be baked before eating, as eating raw cookie dough or batter made with flour and eggs can make you sick.

Annually, there are 700 to 1,000 salmonella cases reported in Washington, according to DOH.

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