The next time you scrape off some leftover cookie dough from the baking or give your kids raw flour dough to play with, think twice because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have officially declared war against raw dough.
The FDA along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating an outbreak of infections that has apparently spread due the dangers of eating raw dough. The US FDA issued an advisory regarding the same after dozens of people across the country were found to be sick because of a bacteria called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli with symptoms ranging from stomach cramps to bloody diarrhea. It warns consumers to stop indulging in raw dough in any form regardless of whether it contains eggs. Jenny Scott, a senior adviser in the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, says that "eating raw dough or batter-whether it's for bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas-could make you, and your kids, sick."
According to the US FDA's website, the investigation traced the source of the problem to General Mills flour produced in a Kansas City, Missouri, facility where the patients had either eaten raw dough or handled it. Subsequent tests by the FDA linked the bacteria in a flour sample to bacteria from people who had become ill. General Mills conducted a voluntary recall of 10 million pounds of flour sold under three brand names: Gold Medal, Signature Kitchen's, and Gold Medal Wondra. The varieties include unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising flours. E. coli bacteria are killed by heat which indicates that anything that is baked, fried, sautéed or cooked can be called safe. This is not the first time we've been told not to eat raw cookie dough. It is a known fact that the raw eggs in the batter are a salmonella risk. In this case, however, it wasn't really cookie dough that made them sick but the flour which was bought by several consumers, and is generally used to bake. In this regard, the US FDA has issued a warning to avoid consuming raw flour.