Just in time for the holiday baking to begin, the Centers for Disease Control has issued a friendly reminder to avoid consuming raw cookie dough.
Unfortunately, while licking the batter off the spoon is delicious, raw dough is not safe for consumption until it’s fully cooked. In a recent statement, the CDC reminded bakers that raw batter or dough of any kind (including cakes and other baked goods) that contains certain ingredients isn’t safe to eat until after it’s been cooked thoroughly in the oven.
The main concern with eating raw dough and batter is that it usually contains raw eggs and flour. Flour is meant to be cooked, so raw flour isn’t treated to kill germs that can cause illness such as E. Coli. Meanwhile, uncooked eggs can carry Salmonella. So, the raw versions of cookies and other baked goods that you’ll be making this holiday season are best avoided until they’re out of the oven and baked all the way through.
We know what you’re thinking: One little taste couldn’t hurt, right? Well, according to the CDC, it only takes a tiny bit to make you sick, for both adults and children.
“You should never taste or eat raw dough or batter,” the CDC statement reads.
The CDC asks bakers to follow safe handling instructions to keep your family healthy over the holidays. For example, use warm, soapy water to clean up the surfaces you used to mix and roll out the dough. Wash your hands often. And, this might surprise some parents, but the CDC also warns that you shouldn’t let your children play with raw dough, “including dough for crafts.”
Well, maybe it’s not surprising. We all know kids aren’t always the best at hand-washing!
Symptoms for both E. Coli and Salmonella can include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps and fever. Anyone experiencing a high fever, dehydration and persistent symptoms should seek out medical help, according to the CDC.
And if you’re still craving cookie dough after all of that, you should check out some recipes that don’t include flour or eggs.
There are companies that sell pre-made, safe-to-eat cookie dough, but this is also something you can whip up in your kitchen pretty easily.
The recipe from Show Me The Yummy uses oats to replace flour in a homemade version of egg-free edible cookie dough that’s completely safe to eat without baking it.
You can also try this edible cookie dough dip that will allow your entire family to get their fill of cookie dough safely this season. This recipe from Dessert For Two doesn’t call for flour or eggs, but uses ingredients such as cream cheese and brown sugar instead:
And remember that just because you can’t sample the dough before it goes into the oven doesn’t mean the cookie-eating fun is over. Check out any of these festive holiday cookie recipes to bake up something delicious this season.