Here's why eating raw cookie dough puts your health at 'real' risk

As the holiday season lurks around the corner, people must remain cautious about an unhealthy way of consuming a very common holiday treat.

According to CBS News, people who have a habit of nibbling homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, before they are baked, may be exposing themselves to a great health risk.

The raw dough or batter used in the preparation of cookies or cakes may cause infection with dangerous germs including salmonella and E. coli.

The source spoke to a senior clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital, Kristi King, to find out more about the risks associated with eating raw cookie dough.

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According to King, not everyone who takes a bite of raw batter or dough tend to fall ill, but the risk is ‘very real.’

"Raw cookie dough contains both raw agriculture and animal products, both of which can carry bacteria which may be harmful to us. If you eat raw cookie dough, it's not to say you will absolutely get sick, but you raise your risk significantly in taking that gamble."

Kristi King, CBC News, December 10, 2018

The source informed that the risk lies in one of the major components used in the dough: flour. They are usually not treated properly for eliminating infectious germs such as E. coli.

These germs can attack the grains when they are still in the field, or the flour may get contaminated during other stages of its production.

So when one consumes raw dough, they are opening themselves to the contaminated flour that is used in that mixture. On the other hand, baking or cooking the flour successfully kills off the germs and makes the food safe to eat.

Back in 2016, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated around 56 such cases of infection related to E. coli occurring in the US between December 2015 and September 2016.

Further investigation determined that the common link between the people infected was eating raw batter or dough while baking. At the time, the outbreak of infection led CDC to recall around 10 million pounds of flour.

Earlier this June, CDC also issued a warning against the sudden outbreak of Salmonella caused from eating turkey.

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