FDA recommends against eating raw cookie dough

By: Emily Lunardo | Health News | Sunday, July 03, 2016 - 10:00 AM

raw cookie doughThe FDA has advised against consuming raw cookie dough. Eating any type of rough dough is not recommended. Furthermore, children should not play with rough dough of any kind, as germs can grow and get on their hands. If their contaminated hands go into their mouths, they can become sick.

Leslie Smoot, a senior advisor in FDA’s Office of Food Safety, said, “Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field, and typically is not treated to kill bacteria.” Bacteria from animal waste can contaminate grains. Boiling, baking, roasting, microwaving, or frying raw flour kills harmful bacteria. But raw dough or batter can still harbor germs.

Health experts have been investigating a series of illnesses caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121 strain of bacteria. One can get infected after consuming raw cookie dough. Symptoms include diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps.

Although majority of individuals recover in a week’s time, some patients may develop complications, including a certain type of kidney failure. This condition is most common in children under the age of five, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems.

Other safety tips set out by the FDA include:

    • Not consuming any type of raw dough
    • Following package directions when cooking or baking
    • Washing hands, utensils, and surfaces after using raw flour
    • Keeping raw food separate from other foods
    • Following refrigeration directions


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