And it has nothing to do with the eggs.
We’ve all been told eating raw cookie dough is risky—and yet many of us tend to ignore the warning. (After all, it’s undeniably delicious.) But a new report released Thursday, November 23, might have you think twice before licking the spoon.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that raw flour can be a vehicle for foodborne pathogens. Specifically, the flour was discovered to be the source of an E-coli outbreak.
The investigation first began in 2016, following a large-scale General Mills flour recall. The first recall was made in late May 2016, when the company voluntarily recalled products produced between November 14, 2015 and December 4, 2015. Later in the summer, General Mills expanded the recall to include flour production dates through February 10, 2016. The recalls were in response to a multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections.
A team of investigators from the FDA and the C.D.C. compared the outbreak cases with non-STEC illness cases for a total of 56 cases in 24 states. They found that the infection was primarily associated with the use of General Mills flour and tasting unbaked homemade dough or batter. They concluded that raw flour was the source of the outbreak of the STEC infections.
The CDC recommends everyone bake items made with raw dough or batter before consuming them, and advises parents against giving playdough made with raw flour to children.
RELATED: Cookie Dough Cones
The good news? There's a safe way to consume raw cookie dough. By toasting the flour before mixing it into the batter, you'll kill off any potential bacteria. Get the how-to in our Cookie Dough Cone recipe.