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CDC: Say no to raw cookie dough

Cropped Photo: Nick Ares / CC BY-SA 2.0

ATLANTA — Holiday baking season is in full swing and many people will begin baking cookies for Santa, however the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you may want to think twice before you start snacking in the kitchen.

The CDC wants to remind all the bakers that eating or tasting unbaked products can make you sick, according to their website.

Raw cookie dough reportedly can contain bacteria that causes disease.

Flour and raw eggs especially can contain bacteria and salmonella respectively.

Since flour is typically a raw agricultural product it usually hasn’t been treated to kill germs like E. coli, according to the CDC.  They say this is one of the many reasons you shouldn’t taste your dough before its baked.

Additionally, raw eggs can contain Salmonella which can make you sick if eaten raw or under cooked.  The CDC reminds bakers though that eggs are safe to eat when cooked and handled properly.

The CDC has issued the following list of safe food handling practices when you’re baking and cooking with raw ingredients:

  • Do not taste or eat any raw dough or batter, whether for cookies, tortillas, pizza, biscuits, pancakes, or crafts made with raw flour, such as homemade play dough or holiday ornaments.
  • Do not let children play with or eat raw dough, including dough for crafts.
  • Bake or cook raw dough and batter, such as cookie dough and cake mix, before eating.
  • Follow the recipe or package directions for cooking or baking at the proper temperature and for the specified time.
  • Do not make milkshakes with products that contain raw flour, such as cake mix.
  • Do not use raw, homemade cookie dough in ice cream.
  • Cookie dough ice cream sold in stores contains dough that has been treated to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Keep raw foods such as flour or eggs separate from ready-to eat-foods. Because flour is a powder, it can spread easily.
  • Follow label directions to refrigerate products containing raw dough or eggs until they are cooked.
  • Clean up thoroughly after handling flour, eggs, or raw dough:
    • Wash your hands with running water and soap after handling flour, raw eggs, or any surfaces that they have touched.
    • Wash bowls, utensils, countertops, and other surfaces with warm, soapy water.

For more baking safety and information on food poisoning symptoms, visit the CDC’s website, here.