This holiday season, you might find yourself whipping up a batch of festive cookies.
The center also noted that raw eggs, which can also be used for baking to make raw cookie dough can also make people sick.
"Say No to Raw Dough!" the CDC warns.
"Well, it's raw", says Carlota Medus, assistant section manager for Foodborne, Vectorborne, Waterborne and Zoonotic Diseases at the Minnesota Department of Health. When used in batter or dough, raw eggs contain Salmonella and can cause people to get sick if consumed raw or lightly cooked. Some flour has even been recalled due to E. coli contamination. The bacteria are killed when food made with flour is cooked. For example, in 2016, an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to raw flour impacted 63 people across the country, according to the CDC.
"Flour is a known culprit for carrying E. coli in which symptoms may appear three to four days after consuming the product and can result in fever, cramping, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting", King said. Harmful germs can contaminate grain while it's still in the field or at other steps as flour is produced.
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Cookie dough found in products like ice cream have already heated the dough to kill the germs, according to NBC News.
Do not taste or eat any raw dough or batter, whether for cookies, tortillas, pizza, biscuits, pancakes, or crafts made with raw flour, such as homemade play dough or holiday ornaments. "Because of this concern, when my kids and I make cookie dough, we never use regular eggs".
General Mills also said it supports the CDC's recommendation. If you have any of the recalled flour products, do not use them and throw them away. "It depends on the person". The CDC reminds bakers though that eggs are safe to eat when cooked and handled properly.
Flour is typically a raw agricultural product.
Keep raw foods such as flour or eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods.