Cookie Dough: The Truth Behind the Batter

While making cookies with my family I was wondering about what the real reason is that we shouldn’t eat raw cookie dough. Most people usually assume that you shouldn’t eat raw cookie dough because you run the risk of getting salmonella from the raw egg. But what if I told you that wasn’t the only reason? Studies show that it is not only is raw egg, but also flour that is making people sick. A recent report says that General Mills flour has sickened 45 people and has made a recall of 45 million pounds of its product. But why? What could be affecting flour in a way that its making people sick? Officials from the Food and Drug Administration analyzed samples of the flour and found that it was contaminated with two separate strands of E-Coli. Investigations have led to the disease being present in other sprout based food sources, but never flour.

So how did the E-Coli get into the flour? Because wheat is not usually treated to kill bacteria, the product is more susceptible to pick up the disease. If livestock defecate in the field, then it increases the likelihood that the grain will pick up the bacteria that’s been causing so much illness. So what is the disease doing? The disease has been causing diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Some symptoms last longer than a week and persist such as Kidney failure. The disease has spread across 21 states. The FDA is aiding GM in the process of eliminating the disease in their products.

When eating raw cookie dough, you should always be cautious. First and foremost, the consumption of raw egg is unhealthy. Furthermore, General Mills recent recall makes the decision even riskier. But what if you’re like me and you enjoy raw cookie dough and kind of don’t care? Just wait a while…..In the not too distant future, GM’s recall should be over and the flour they produce should be E-Coli free once more.

So what can be taken away from all of this? First, if you have any General Mills products containing flour, you best throw them away. Second, avoid consuming any products containing raw flour. And Finally, eating raw egg is never a good idea. So the next time you’re making Chocolate chip cookies, think about what ingredients you used before you take a bite of the raw dough.




8 thoughts on “Cookie Dough: The Truth Behind the Batter

  1. Anna Strahle

    I have never been one to say no to eating raw cookie dough, and my dad always yells at me whenever he catches me sneaking a few spoonfuls. I have heard all of the lectures of eating raw eggs and what it could potentially cause. However, the flour is not something I was expecting. Not only does General Mills sell their flour to families in grocery stores, but they also sell it to other large companies for baking mixes, such as Betty Crocker. For other companies that purchase flour from General Mills click the link below:
    Also, once the recall is over, but you don’t want to be effected by the potential risk of salmonella, here is a cookie dough recipe without raw egg in order to curb your cravings:

  2. Summer A Carson

    I love cookie dough, but what actually caught my eye about your blog was the fact that you had mentioned E-Coli! On the first blog period I did a post on E-Coli relating to Chipotle, because they had an outbreak last fall. Within my research of E-Coli I learned that there is many ways to contract this bacteria and it makes total sense that from raw cookie dough that contracting E-Coli would be very easy. Correct food preparation is essential to not contracting E-Coli. For example, raw food needs to be thoroughly cooked through to ensure that there is no chance of contracting the bacteria, which is why raw cookie dough is frowned upon. Your conclusion of your blog is very true and everyone should take that advice with them! Here is the link to my blog on Chipotle & E-Coli if you would like to check it out!

  3. Anna Josephine Wisniewski

    This is something I always think about. My friends and I eat more raw cookie dough than baked cookies when we whip up a batch on Friday nights. None of us have gotten salmonella, nor have I heard of anyone getting it from cookie dough that I know. So what’s the deal? Why should we listen to our parents when they yell after seeing half of the batter is missing? Obviously you can’t do an experiment on this because it’s unethical to inflict salmonella on a group of people by forcing them to eat raw cookie dough, but maybe you could look at it in a different way. There are many people who eat raw eggs as part of their diet, usually by blending them in a smoothie. There seem to be many benefits that go along with this. It is always possible to do tests on those people and see if their body is being negatively affected, or if any of them have gotten sick from it. That’s just something to think about.

  4. Mary M. Brown

    Hey Victor! This is a very interesting blog, and I’m happy that I know about the recall of General Mills flour. However, we have to remember that correlation doesn’t always equal causation. E-Coli found in General Mills flour correlates with a reduction in the consumption of raw cookie dough, but it doesn’t necessarily cause it. Wouldn’t people consider other options if their usual product was unavailable? What about the people who never use General Mills flour, and opt for another brand such as King Arthur?

  5. Natalie Elizabeth Burns

    I really like this topic because I love cookie dough and making cookies. I think it’s interesting that you looked more into it rather than just assuming it’s the raw eggs. However, I feel as though this problem can be solved because in my hometown there is something called The Cooke Dough Cafe which sells raw cookie dough available to customers. However, this cookie dough doesn’t have raw eggs so it is safe. However, with your point made about the flour, I wonder if now their business is going through any rough patches with this.
    Also, I’m wondering if after the flour issue is solved if anything else in the cookie dough will show harmful effects.
    Good post!

  6. Hannah Marni Stern

    I am 100% guilty of scraping every last bit of cookie dough from the bowl, so I definitely can relate to this article. I found it very interesting, almost mind blowing, that there is another risk outside of raw egg! However, on the topic of raw egg, your blog made me think about what other type of risks I put on myself by the casual lick of a spoon. This article ( highlights many things in addition to cookie dough that could cause salmonella. It talked about some homemade salad dressings.. something I would have never considered! Definitely recommend looking into it.

  7. Caroline Sorrentino

    What an interesting and relevant topic! This is definitely upsetting to me because I eat cookie dough whenever I have the chance. In fact, my roommate and I bought a sleeve the other day to eat while we were watching the new episode of American Horror Story (guilty pleasure central). Luckily there is another alternative though. Have you ever heard of the cookie dough MADE for eating? The link for the cookie dough cafe is here . This is a great option for when you’re really craving cookie dough but don’t want to risk getting sick.

  8. Margaret Marchok

    Victor- I really enjoyed reading your post about raw cookie dough. Every year at Christmas, my family and I go on a huge baking spree. Much like the rest of the population, I can’t resist stealing some cookie dough here and there. Of course, I am always reprimanded and told that I am going to get sick. I always assumed that is was because of the eggs, so it was eye opening to learn that it may be because of the flour, too. However, I found an interesting article that actually argues that cookie dough is safe to eat- The writer actually makes his cookies with eggs that have already been pasteurized and cleaned of bacteria as well as flour that he knows is safe to use because it was not part of the recall. I think his perspective on the matter is really interesting and he makes some good points. Check it out!

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