The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently issued a warning about the health consequences of eating raw cookie dough.
According to the federal agency, products that are intended to be cooked or baked such as dough or batter could lead to food poisoning or infections such as Escherichia coli or E. coli and Salmonella.
"When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully cooked," public health officials wrote on the website. "But steer clear of this temptation — eating or tasting unbaked products that are intended to be cooked, such as dough or batter, can make you sick."
Dangers Lurking In Raw Cookie Dough
The CDC particularly warned about raw flour, an agricultural product that has not been treated to kill germs, which might have contaminated the grain while still in the field. In 2016, 63 people got infected with E. coli from eating raw flour.
Flour is, of course, still generally safe. The bacteria lurking in the product are killed by cooking or baking.
The CDC also warned about the raw eggs typically used in cookie dough or cake batter. Salmonella is a germ that can make people sick from eating raw or lightly cooked eggs.
How To Prevent Infection From Flour, Eggs
The warning applies to anything involving raw flour and raw eggs such as tortillas, pizza, pancakes, and others. Parents are also advised not to let their children handle raw cookie dough for crafts.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety says that E.coli and other bacteria are killed when cooked in 140 degree-Fahrenheit and above.
In addition, the CDC guideline states that raw flour and raw eggs should be kept separate from cooked or ready-to-eat foods. Flour, especially, is a powder that can easily be spread so it is better to keep it where it would not be unintentionally added to other food.
Symptoms of E.coli infection include stomach cramps, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Meanwhile, for Salmonella infections, symptoms usually appear after six to 48 hours and typically include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.