Kansas City, Missouri – Nestle USA Inc. has filed a lawsuit against US-based producer of sifters Great Western Manufacturing, alleging that a defect in its machines had led to rubber contamination in the Nestle Toll House cookie dough products.
In a 17 May suit filed with the US District Court of Kansas, the food & beverage major alleged that an industrial hose within a flour sifter, installed at its Danville factory in 2012, had caused the problem.
Nestle said between 30 Sept and 24 Oct 2019, it received seven complaints from consumers who reported finding pieces of rubber approximately 1.5mm thick in its 'ready-to-bake refrigerated cookie dough products.'
Investigating the issue, Nestle said it identified that the outlet hose in the sifter, which was a Gates 5” 610w hose, as the source of the rubber contamination in the Cookie Dough Products.
The hose, it said, “had delaminated, meaning pieces of the inner rubber layer from the hose tubing had peeled off and contaminated the flour.”
The hose, Nestle claimed, delaminated as a result of a defect in the Great Western Sifter, adding that the defect "existed at the time of Great Western’s sale of the sifter."
The Swiss-headquartered group said the issue led to a recall of 2.25 million cases of cookie dough in October 2019, incurring “substantial damages" as a direct result of the equipment failure.
Nestle said it had to destroy unusable inventory, refund and credit customers for unusable inventory it had sold, and incur additional expenses to restore inventories.