For many, raw cookie dough tastes so much better than cooked cookies. It’s for this reason exactly why whipping up cookies from scratch is often a time-consuming and challenging task that a lot of people love doing. That’s because it gives them the opportunity to nibble on spoonfuls of raw cookie dough.
Unfortunately, the consumption of cookie dough is an enjoyable undertaking that health authorities say everyone should quit doing.
One of the reasons why raw cookie dough is bad for you is it contains eggs. According to experts, raw eggs contain a type of bacterium referred to as salmonella. Perhaps you may have already heard or read somewhere that salmonella is the leading cause of food poisoning in the US — it is said that more than 1 million people end up with salmonella poisoning (it’s called salmonellosis, by the way) every year.
If you think that it’s okay since a lot of people are experiencing it anyway, think again. Experts confirm that yearly up to 450 individuals die of salmonella poisoning.
Having salmonella poisoning will surely ruin the reason — whether it’s the Holidays or someone’s birthday — why you are baking cookies in the first place. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms encountered:
- Severe stomach cramping
- Bloody stools
In order to kill any salmonella present in eggs, they should be cooked very well. It’s exactly for this reason why the intake of raw cookie dough can considerably increase your risk of suffering from salmonella poisoning — salmonella in raw eggs whisked into the raw cookie dough is very much alive and kicking.
But what about if you haven’t added eggs to your cookie dough yet or the cookies you are about to whip up are the eggless kinds? Is it safe to have a spoonful or two of raw cookie dough?
Not quite, experts say!
Just recently, it’s been found out that raw flour may actually contain what’s known as E. coli. Just like salmonella, E. coli is a type of bacterium that can cause food poisoning. Although it’s true that someone who has an E. coli infection requires no hospital stay as it can be managed at home, it can cause nasty signs and symptoms such as fever, nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal cramping, excess gas, diarrhea and sometimes vomiting, too.
Severe cases of E. coli infections can also cause dehydration, bloody stools, bruising, decreased urine output and even kidney failure! Even though it’s mentioned earlier that an E. coli infection can resolve on its own even without treatment, it’s very important to seek medical attention ASAP if the problem is causing severe signs and symptoms.
According to health authorities, young children and the elderly are the ones who are at higher risk of having an E. coli infection. That’s because their immune systems are incapable of fully defending the body against invading E. coli. Needless to say, those whose immune systems are weakened or compromised because of certain medical conditions or infections are at high risk of winding up with an E. coli infection.
If your immune system is in tip-top shape, then it’s probably safe for you to have a small bite or two of raw cookie dough. But are you really willing to risk it?
By the way, health authorities say that it’s not enough that you successfully fight off the strong urge to consume raw cookie dough. While waiting for your homemade cookies to cook in the oven, it’s of utmost importance that you also clean your countertop very well and wash your hands thoroughly to keep yourself and everyone you care about out of harm’s way.