There is nothing more satisfying than eating a big spoonful of raw cookie dough as you bake a fresh batch of chocolate chip goodies. It’s a familiar treat that many people experience growing up and then throughout adulthood as well. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now warning consumers to avoid eating any more raw cookie dough and other raw dough products. The government agency explains that raw cookie, bread, and pizza dough contain flour which may contain disease-causing bacteria. In a statement FDA senior advisor Leslie Smooth said, “Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria.” A recent outbreak tied to flour is being investigated by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That outbreak has sickened dozens of people throughout the United States. At least several sick patients in recent months had eaten raw dough that was produced from General Mills flour which arrived from its Kansas City, Missouri production facility. Researchers have found that a bacteria called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121, was affecting the flour. General Mills has recalled 10 million pounds of the product which is sold under the names Gold Medal, Signature Kitchens, and Gold Medal Wondra. Affected are unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising flours. The FDA acknowledged that contaminants can pass into grain in the fields, but says cooking the flour will kill any bacteria that exists.
Symptoms to Watch For If You Recently Ate Raw Cookie Dough
E. coli is the biggest risk at this time. Symptoms of the infection can include diarrhea, which is often bloody, and abdominal cramps. While most people will recover within one week, a prolonged or severe sickness can lead to kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
FDA Tips For Handling Raw Dough Of All Kinds
- Don’t eat cookie dough, cake mix, batter, or any other raw dough products until they have been cooked or baked.
- Follow all cooking directions including temperatures that must be reached.
- Wash your hands and all surfaces that touch raw flour, cookie dough products, and other raw flour-based products.
- Keep other foods away from flour. Because of its powdery nature it easily spreads contaminants.
- Chill raw dough products until right before cooking.
There Is An Exception To This Raw Cookie Dough Rule
Following the raw cookie dough warning from the FDA, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s said it’s raw cookie dough is not affected. Ben & Jerry’s uses a heat treated flour for cookie dough production. The company also notes that it has implemented a rigorous food safety program. Heat-treated flour is not readily available for consumers but given this type of outbreak perhaps we will see such a product readily available in the future.
What To Do If You Have Affected Flour In Your Home
General Mills has posted information about its flour recall here: //www.generalmills.com/flour. You can find contact information and more details by visit the company’s website. The original recall notification was sent out on May 31.