Health

FDA: Raw Cookie Dough May Contain Fecal Matter

| by Ray Brown
Clumps of cookie dough on a baking sheetClumps of cookie dough on a baking sheet

The FDA said you shouldn't eat cookie dough, and they're so serious about the warning that they published a report about the potential health risks.

The FDA published "Raw Dough’s a Raw Deal and Could Make You Sick" on June 28. In the report, Jenny Scott, a senior advisor at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, noted that raw dough or batter, whether it's cookie dough, pizza dough, or anything else made of raw flour, contains bacteria that can cause Shiga toxin-producing E. Coli.

Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps that last for about a week in most cases. But sometimes it can be more severe and even result in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

The FDA especially warned parents to watch their young kids around raw dough because the symptoms can be more severe in small children.

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"Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria," Leslie Smoot, Ph.D., a senior advisor in FDA’s Office of Food Safety and a specialist in the microbiological safety of processed foods, said in the report.

Basically, if an animal defecates in a grain field, that grain might not have been washed enough before it gets used to make your raw cookie dough. Once that cookie dough is baked, however, the bacteria will die.

At least 38 people in 20 states have been infected with the disease in recent months, and the FDA traced the source of the outbreak to a General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri, back in November 2015, reported The New York Times. General Mills recalled 10 million pounds of flour produced between Nov. 14, 2015, and Dec. 4, 2015. The three brand names that contained the bacteria were Gold Medal, Signature Kitchens and Gold Medal Wondra.

Sources: FDA, The New York Times / Photo Credit: Nick Ares/Wikipedia

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