Why you should resist sneaking a taste of raw cookie dough

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning this week to remind people eating raw cookie dough is unsafe.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 4:02 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It's not a good idea to be eating raw cookie dough this holiday season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning this week to remind people eating raw cookie dough is unsafe.

"It's so tempting to do at this time of year when people are making cookies and using dough in a whole variety of recipes to want to reach down with your finger and lick the bowl or spoon, but that's what you want to avoid," said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Scott Folk, Mosaic Life Care.

The concern is over raw eggs and flour in cookie dough that could make you sick.

"The two key ingredients found in cookie dough are flour, which has been involved in transmitting E. coli infections, and raw eggs can transmit salmonella infections. It's not a good idea to be eating, in any amount, raw cookie dough," said Dr. Folk.

Products sold in stores made with cookie dough, like ice cream, are safe to eat because they've been treated to kill salmonella and E. coli.

"If the flour has been pre-heated and if the eggs are pasteurized you're fine," said Dr. Folk. "But when you do it at home it's easy to want to lick the bowl or spoon and if you use raw ingredients and haven't pre-treated them properly it's easy to acquire an infection like that."

To avoid getting sick from raw cookie dough, the CDC recommends not letting children play with or eat raw dough, follow package directions carefully for cooking and baking time and temperature, keep raw food separate from ready to eat foods, and wash your hands and utensils thoroughly with soap and water after use.

Symptoms of food poisoning include stomach cramps and diarrhea.

"Symptoms of salmonella or E. coli infection would be about three or four days after eating a contaminated product," said Dr. Folk. "If you get dehydrated it could potentially land you in the hospital, which is not where most people want to spend the holidays."

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