Cookie Dough E. Coli Outbreak Comes at the Worst Time


cookie doughPut down the cookie dough! Nice and slow, that's right. Okay. Now back away. Phew! I just saved your life! In case you haven't heard, there's a cruel foodborne pathogen plot going on right now -- clearly orchestrated by The Grinch -- involving E. coli showing up in raw cookie dough. Really? During the holidays? That ain't cool.

Now wait, you're probably thinking. E. coli? In cookie dough? Personally, I always thought salmonella was the thing to worry about in cookie dough (raw eggs). Not that salmonella is any fun, either. So where does the E. coli come from?

Researchers aren't entirely sure, but they think raw flour might be the culprit. Apparently, unlike eggs, sugar, or baking soda, flour doesn't go through any sort of pasteurization process. Cooking the flour is the only way to kill off any potentially lingering yuckies.

Argh. How are we supposed to get through the Season of Baked Goods with the burden of this new and frightening knowledge? Of course it's easy enough to put the kibosh on raw cookie dough consumption in your household, but think of all the pie plates and rolling pins and cutting boards you'll be dousing with clouds of flour over the next few weeks. Time to trade in the apron for a hazmat suit?

No, no, no. As with any scary food poisoning outbreak, once we get over the initial freakout we'll just be a little bit more careful: We'll wash our hands more often after handling flour. Maybe we'll be more fastidious about cleaning up spills.

But does E. coli in dough spell the end of holiday cookie madness? As Jimmy Fallon would say, Ho, ho, HELL NO!

Have you ever gotten sick from eating raw cookie dough?

Image via Nick Ares/Flickr

food safety, holidays, baking


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butte... butterflymkm

Damn I'm always one of those people who sneeks a bit of the raw stuff. I know it's bad but it's soooo good! Sigh. Guess I'll just have to actually BAKE ALL the cookies this year lol

lindy... lindylouwho

My boyfriend bought a tub of cookie dough from a co-workers child (fundraiser).  I had to take it to my friends house so I wouldn't eat it raw.  It was soooo tempting!  If I weren't pregnant, I probably wouldn't have even thought twice and devoured it.

Aurastar Aurastar

I ate raw cookie dough yesterday and I feel just fine. o_o

starl... starlight1968

just baked cookies this past Saturday and I'm fine still...licked my fare share of spoons/fingers lol.

PonyC... PonyChaser

I make all my cookies from scratch (sorry, I just hate the taste of that pre-done stuff), and I'm really bad with the dough-eating. I eat a good three or four cookies worth, every time. And I've never, EVER gotten sick. Not a single time. And I use raw eggs, and raw flour, and homemade vanilla!!

prplecat prplecat

The cookie dough that you buy is likely made with pasteurized eggs, which will not contain salmonella.  It's the homemade dough that can be bothersome.  As much as I bake, the e coli in flour is REALLY disturbing!

batjmom batjmom

Thankfully no but I don't like chocolate and most cookie dough I buy is some sort of chocolate for the kids

nonmember avatar fjf

We make all our cookies from scratch as well. Never thought about e coli in my flour. My son is allergic to eggs so salmonella isn't an issue.

Bmat Bmat

I don't like raw cookie dough anyway, but never thought of flour as being a hazard.

DebaLa DebaLa

I think of bugs [parts per million] that are allowed in grain products... what were they landing on before their demise?? Think "E. Culo"

Btw, I eat raw all the time. Never had a problem that I'm aware of, lol. But I do hear my mother's voice, to this day: "Don't eat batter... you'll get sick/worms..." Love ya, Mom, but... eh. Who can resist at least licking the bowl and spoons.

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