updated 7/9/2009 8:50:49 PM ET 2009-07-10T00:50:49

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday the strain of E. coli found in a sample of raw cookie dough collected at a Nestle USA manufacturing plant does not match the strain that has been linked to a 30-state outbreak.

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The FDA and the federal Centers for Disease Control have been investigating whether the cookie dough was the source of the E. coli outbreak which has sickened at least 69 people in about 30 states.

E. coli is a potentially deadly germ that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure.

Last month, Nestle voluntarily recalled all Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products made at its Danville, Virginia, factory after the FDA told Nestle it suspected consumers may have been exposed to E. coli bacteria after eating the dough raw.

On Thursday, FDA spokesman Mike Herndon said the strains of E. coli that were found in a tested unopened package of dough don't match the E. coli linked to the outbreak.

The FDA is working with the Glendale, California-based unit of Switzerland-based Nestle SA on the investigation, which Herndon said was ongoing.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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