We've all taken a lick of raw cookie dough while baking fresh cookies, even though we know we shouldn't.
It's basically a universally known thing that eating cookie dough straight from the mixing bowl is bad for you because of the salmonella risk from raw eggs. But actually, there's a different reason why you shouldn't stuff your face with cookie dough or any other uncooked batter.
According to the FDA, raw dough that has flour in it (and most doughs do) can make you sick. Any brand of flour can put you at risk of disease. Both the FDA and the CDC (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention) have been investigating a recent outbreak of infections related to eating raw dough.
That infection? E. coli. Apparently, at least 38 people from 20 different states have been infected with the strain of E. coli already.
Popular flour brand General Mills voluntarily recalled 10 million pounds of Gold Medal, Signature Kitchens and Gold Medal Wondra unbleached, all-purpose and self-rising flours. The FDA warns anyone who has these flours in their kitchen to toss them.
And that's exactly what I'm going to do when I get home since I just bought a new package of Gold Medal all-purpose flour this week. (Oops.)
If you're super into baking, hopefully you haven't been eating too much raw, unbaked goodies before they make it to the oven. But just so you know, the common symptoms of E. coli are abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
Here's the thing you probably didn't know about flour: It's not normally treated for bacteria like other foods. The bacteria is killed off when baked, fried or microwaved. So, unless that flour has been cooked, don't go scraping the bowl after whipping up cookie dough.
Here's the good news: According to the FDA, cookie dough ice cream and other cookie dough products are bacteria-free because they have been treated.