January 16, 2021

Again, Just Say No to Raw Dough During the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again. People bake a lot during the holiday season, so it’s time for another reminder: Just say no to raw dough.

Again, Just Say No to Raw Dough During the Holidays

It’s important that consumers not eat raw dough or batter of any kind unless the dough is made with pasteurized eggs and heat treated flour. Don’t even taste a tiny amount. Those two ingredients can be contaminated with potentially deadly pathogens and in fact have caused many illnesses. Raw cookie dough and raw cake batter are the biggest culprits, but homemade play dough and play clay made with flour has also made children sick.

Eggs are often contaminated with Salmonella bacteria; in fact, hens can carry the pathogen inside their ovaries. That means the eggs are contaminated on the inside so washing them won’t help. And uncooked flour is a raw agricultural product and has been contaminated with Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 and has made people very sick. In 2016 and 2019, two E. coli outbreaks linked to raw dough sickened more than 80 people.

These pathogens are only destroyed when raw doughs and batters are baked.

Some companies do offer edible cookie dough that use heat-teated flour and pasteurized eggs. Read the label carefully to make sure that those ingredients are properly treated so pathogens are destroyed.

So to keep you and your family safe this holiday season, do not taste or eat any raw dough or batter that is made with raw flour and raw eggs. That includes dough and batter for cookies, tortillas, cakes, shortbread, pies, pizza, biscuits, pancakes, homemade play dough, or holiday ornaments. Always follow the recipe or package directions and refrigeration requirements for cooking or baking at the proper temperature and for the proper time.

Don’t make milkshakes with ingredients made with raw flour, such as cake mix. Don’t use raw cookie dough in ice cream or cheesecake. And always keep raw flour and eggs separated from ready-to-eat foods. Because flour is a powder, it spreads really easily. And wash your hands, utensils, counters, and appliances with soap and water after you have worked with raw eggs and flour.

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