“Don’t eat that (raw) cookie dough!” said every mom. But you rebels have ignored that advice since you were old enough to lick the beaters, right? It’s true, cookie dough contains raw eggs, which most people associate with a possible risk food poisoning from Salmonella bacteria. But there is another reason you shouldn’t be snitching raw dough…
Raw cookie dough also contains flour, which has been flagged by the FDA as a potential source of foodborne illness if it’s not properly handled. For the full article visit the FDA site: Raw Dough’s a Raw Deal and Could Make You Sick. Here’s the bottom line: No matter the brand, it’s possible raw flour may contain a harmful strain of E.Coli, a pathogen that can cause foodborne illness. Flour comes from wheat, which grows in nature. The wheat is harvested, sent to a mill, and is processed and packed into the bags of flour we buy at the grocery store. If the agricultural product (wheat) becomes contaminated in nature (via animal waste, for instance), it can be passed onto the consumer if the food hasn’t first undergone a “kill step.”
A “kill step” in food processing is exactly what it sounds like – a processing method that “kills” harmful bacteria. In the case of cookie dough, the “kill step” is baking the cookies. But, kill steps can also be roasting, boiling, frying, or any cooking method that heats the food to proper temperatures to kill a particular strain of bacteria. Often, the temperature to reach/exceed is 165F. Unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising flours may all carry risk of foodborne illness if not properly cooked.
Now, go on…tell your kids to get out of the cookie dough. (And psst…you sound just like your mom. ;))
An important note: You should know, the risk of foodborne illness from contaminated flour doesn’t stop with raw cookie dough. The FDA warns against eating ANY raw dough: pizza dough, bread dough, homemade playdough or other diy “dough” recipes for crafts…any uncooked dough recipes using flour.