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Bakers Beware: E. Coli Tied To Raw Cookie Dough

Bakers usually warn against eating raw cookie dough to avoid salmonella from the eggs. What about pathogens found in store-bought dough?

dough

Photo: Heather Harvey (Flickr)

Don't touch that dough! Baking store-bought dough is the only way to ensure nasty food-borne pathogens are destroyed.

Are you guilty of sneaking bites of raw cookie dough while baking? A new study finds you might be taking a bigger health risk than you think.

A 2009 outbreak of E. coli that sickened 80 people across 30 states was tied to raw cookie dough, but not due to the usual suspect, raw eggs.

Instead, the E. coli was likely traced to flour.

Flour doesn’t undergo any special processes, like pasteurization or sterilization, to kill possible pathogens — it’s the only raw ingredient in store-bought dough.

Store-bought raw cookie dough contains pasteurized eggs, so consumers feel safe eating it raw. Some have even admitted to purchasing dough without any intent to bake it.

Read More:

  • Report from the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal
  • Beware of Raw Cookie Dough (New York Times)
  • Nasty germs lurking in raw cookie dough, scientist warns (MSNBC)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Bloomington, Indiana. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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