Okay, okay you probably know that technically you're never supposed to eat raw cookie dough. But despite mom's warnings that you might end up with a bad stomach ache from consuming raw eggs (which have been known to cause linked to Salmonella), who can really resist sneaking a spoonful before you put a batch of chocolate chips the oven?
But according to a new report from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you really need to cease and desist that cookie dough habit once and for all. This week, the FDA issued a report warning about the dangers of consuming raw dough that have nothing to do with the eggs in the batter. Turns out, the culprit is actually flour, which can contain bacteria that will make you sick. (Another food safety myth: The 5-Second Rule. Sorry to kill your dreams in one story.)
The grain used to make flour comes directly from the field, and according to the FDA, it's usually not treated to kill bacteria. So think about it: If an animal uses that same field to answer the call of nature, bacteria from the poop can contaminate the grain, which in turn contaminates the flour with E. coli bacteria. Gross! (This isn't the only potentially harmful ingredient lurking inside your food. These 14 Banned Foods Are Still Allowed in the U.S.—are you eating them?)
According to the report, dozens of food poisoning cases across the country have been linked to consuming raw dough that contained flour harboring a strain of E. coli. The FDA linked some of these cases to General Mills brand flour, who in response issued a recall of 10 million pounds of flour sold under the brand names Gold Medal, Signature Kitchen's and Gold Medal Wondra.
If you do get infected with one of these belly bugs, you can expect bloody diarrhea and nasty cramps, so stay away from the temptation to lick the spoon next time you whip up a cake or batch of brownie batter. Seriously, no sweet treat is worth those side effects, and the warm, freshly baked cookies will be well worth the wait.