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Merced County schools sold cookie dough potentially tainted with salmonella

Area residents who purchased tubs of frozen peanut butter cookies or frozen dough from fundraising groups at six Merced County schools should not handle or eat the product, the California Department of Public Health advised Wednesday afternoon.

The frozen products, produced by Dough-To-Go of Santa Clara county, are potentially tainted with salmonella, a bacteria particularly harmful to the young, elderly and otherwise frail.

The local schools affected are: Charleston School, Lorena Falasco Elementary, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School, and Westside Union Elementary in Los Banos; Rivera Middle School in Merced; and Gustine High School.

The effected products were sold under the Dough-To-Go and Jane Dough labels between August 2008 and Jan. 16, 2009.

Salmonella bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, according to the California Department of Public Health. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

No illnesses associated with Dough-To-Go have been reported so far, but consumers are recommended to discard the product.

The warning is one the of the latest additions to a list of more than 400 peanut butter products made with potentially contaminated peanut butter made at a plant in Georgia.

More information on the contamination, including batch codes for the dough, can be found at the www.cdph.ca.gov.

— Danielle Gaines

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