Eating raw cookie dough, raw dough or batter — whether it’s for bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas —could make you sick, The US Food and Drug Administration warns.
You can’t resist gobbling up a piece of raw dough when you make cookies? Do you let your children lick the batter spoon when you make pancakes? We know it’s sweet and sometimes can be irresistible, but raw cookie dough can be dangerous!
The US Food and Drug Administration advises you not to eat raw dough — including the one for bread, pizza, and cookies. It’s not about the eggs as you might think. Is about the flour, which can be contaminated with E.coli.
The FDA is investigating the E.coli outbreak with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reported on June 1 that 38 people in 20 states had been infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121. No deaths have been reported, but 10 people have been hospitalized.
Flour produced at a General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri is the likely source of the outbreak, the CDC said. The company recalled several varieties of flour in May, including all-purpose flour, self-rising flour, and some types of cake mix.
Why you should stop eating raw cookie dough
Cookie dough is a blend of cookie ingredients which has been mixed into a malleable form and not yet been baked in the oven. The dough can be baked to individual cookies, or eaten as is. Cookie dough can be homemade or bought pre-made in packs.
“Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” said Leslie Smoot, Ph.D., a senior advisor in FDA’s Office of Food Safety and a specialist in the microbiological safety of processed foods. So if an animal heeds the call of nature in the field, bacteria from the animal waste could contaminate the grain, which is then harvested and milled into flour.
So the flour can be contaminated. That’s why not only raw cookie dough can make you sick. It's anything you made with flour that hasn’t been cooked. E. coli bacteria are killed by heat, so anything you've baked, fried, sautéed, boiled, or otherwise cooked is safe.
Don’t lick the batter spoon and avoid eating raw cookie dough, even if it has chocolate chips in it! The FDA also recommends you follow package directions for cooking products containing flour at proper temperatures and for specified times, and to wash hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with flour and raw dough products.