(GoHealthier.com) – How many of us remember eating raw cookie dough as children without any concern about the possibility of illness? Times certainly have changed, and these days most of us are good about leaving that raw dough in the bowl.
Concerns over salmonella poisoning have made most baking enthusiasts more cautious about foods containing raw eggs, but another threat is hiding even in doughs that don’t include the ingredient. Here’s the whole reason to avoid raw cookie dough.
Raw cookie dough can pose multiple potential hazards, the salmonella in unpasteurized eggs merely being one. Flour is another possible source of food poisoning. It can be contaminated with dangerous strains of E. coli, making all kinds of raw dough potentially toxic. We have the details on the reasons to avoid raw cookie dough in the article below.
Here’s the REAL Reason You Should Avoid Raw Cookie Dough.
Salmonella Is Just One Threat
Many of us who already avoid cookie dough are likely to be wary of salmonella poisoning, which can result from eating raw eggs. However, we might not be aware of the dangers also lurking in our flour. That’s right — flour can be just as hazardous to our health as eggs.
The CDC warns that raw flour can harbor dangerous strains of E. coli, the bacteria responsible for about 265,000 food poisoning cases each year. The source in raw dough is contaminated wheat, which doesn’t undergo any type of sterilization before being ground into flour — and bleaching doesn’t rid it of the bacteria, either. People who eat raw dough made with contaminated flour may as well be eating raw hamburger.
Handling Flour Safely
The FDA recommends handling flour and raw dough like we would meat and other potentially germy raw foods. Cross-contamination can be serious, and because flour can scatter easily, keeping surfaces and hands clean during and after use can go a long way in preventing illness.
Raw dough needs to be stored in the refrigerator to stay good, and it can spoil just like any other food harboring salmonella or E. coli. Never use homemade cookie dough as an ice cream ingredient; freezing won’t kill these offenders either. Unless it’s going to go in the oven, always use commercially-packaged cookie dough to eat raw.
Don’t let children handle homemade “play” clay. Even if they don’t try to eat it, they can still transfer bacteria to their hands, easily ending up in their mouths. Remember, just because it’s chemical-free doesn’t mean it’s safe for kids.
Raw cookie dough is delicious, with its creamy mixture of textures and buttery bursts of sugar and salt, but it’s not worth the possible consequences. No matter how tempting it might be to take a bite, it’s important to step away from the bowl and wait for the finished treat. Many of us may have survived eating raw dough growing up, but we got lucky — and we know better now.
~Here’s to a Healthier Life!
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