Noooooooo: FDA Says You Really, Really Shouldn’t Eat Raw Cookie Dough

Goodbye bowl-licking. (Insert all the sobs here.)

Raw cookie dough enthusiasts, listen up: Next time you’re baking any sort of delectable treat, think twice before licking your fingers clean as it could make you pretty sick — and this time, eggs are not the obvious felon. While we should always be wary of salmonella lurking where raw eggs reside, apparently we should also be wary of E. coli hiding away in raw flour, the FDA says. Who knew?

In a recent consumer update, the FDA announced that since December 2015, 38 people in 20 states have been infected with E. coli after they ate raw flour. This led to an investigation which found General Mills flour to be at fault. In response to the findings, GM recalled all of their flour made from Nov. 14, 2015 to Dec. 4th 2015 — a whopping 10 million pounds of the stuff under three separate brand names: Gold Medal, Signature Kitchens and Gold Medal Wondra.

Per the FDA Update: ‘“Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” says Leslie Smoot, Ph.D., a senior advisor in FDA’s Office of Food Safety and a specialist in the microbiological safety of processed foods. “So if an animal heeds the call of nature in the field, bacteria from the animal waste could contaminate the grain, which is then harvested and milled into flour.” This bacteria is killed when you boil, bake, roast, microwave or fry the flour. But if you’re eating raw cookie dough, it could be coming with some bacteria along with it.

The good news in all this: Gooey cookies fresh out of the oven are almost as good as the dough itself.

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