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Raw Cookie Dough Linked To E. Coli Outbreak
Licking the spoon for a couple tastes of raw cookie dough is an added bonus to the baking process, but the risk of falling ill from the batter might be greater than once thought. New research published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease found that the culprit of a 2009 multi-state E. coli outbreak was the ready-to-bake prepackaged cookie dough found in most grocery stores. At the time of the outbreak, 77 people from 30 states became ill from the bad batter. About half of those people got so sick they had to be hospitalized. After an investigation, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control have yet to still fully pinpoint the ingredient in the cookie dough that caused the outbreak, but CDC study author Dr. Karen Neil said researchers believe the problem was in the flour. Raw flour does not go through the same rigorous process to kill pathogens the way in which eggs, molasses and sugar do in commercial products. “You should not consume raw cookie dough or any other raw product that’s intended to be baked or cooked, and food should always be prepared according to the recipe or instructions,” Neil warns. Visit www.foodsafety.gov to learn about the best ways to handle raw and uncooked foods to keep you and your family safe and healthy.