Our nationwide affection for raw cookie dough is so real. It’s instant nostalgia in dough form. We can all remember getting handed a batter covered spoon or a glob straight from the bowl as kids, we felt like we were getting away with something as that mild salmonella warning was temporarily tossed to the wayside. But now, even for you weirdo eggless cookie makers, it might be time to call it quits.
The buzzkills at the FDA have released a statement saying that E. coli tainted flour has replaced Salmonella as their key concern regarding raw cookie dough. As of press time, 38 people in 20 states have gotten severely ill by a strain of E. coli that is found in flour. The infections began last December and 10 of which, have been rushed to the hospital.
Investigations by the CDC and the FDA have tracked the outbreak to a flour stock that was harvested in November 2015 at a General Mills in Kansas City, Missouri. GM was quick to release a voluntary recall. The problem is, 99% of the time flour is cooked before it’s consumed, so E. coli hasn’t really been a concern. Then the cookie dough fiends stepped in.
“For the most part, the risk from flour is pretty low, and most use of flour involves a ‘kill step’ — people bake with it,” said Jenny Scott, a senior adviser in the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. In a recent NY Times post, she went on to give us some hope, in third party uses like ice cream, companies generally pre-treat the products with heat it to eliminate bacteria. So no need fret, you can still get your fix. But following a recipe just to eat the stuff by the spoonful might not be the best call.