The holidays are here, and that means lots of tasty baked treats are going to be covering kitchen counters all around the world. If you find it hard to wait until your cookies are fully baked before taking a taste though, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a warning you should hear before you indulge.
In an updated news bulletin, the CDC is begging holiday bakers to avoid eating raw dough out of fear that doing so may put them at risk for salmonella and E. coli infections.
The CDC writes:
Flour is typically a raw agricultural product. This means it hasn’t been treated to kill germs like Escherichia coli (E. coli). Harmful germs can contaminate grain while it’s still in the field or at other steps as flour is produced. The bacteria are killed when food made with flour is cooked. This is why you should never taste or eat raw dough or batter—whether made from recalled flour or any other flour. In 2016, an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to raw flour made 63 people sick. Flour products have long shelf lives and could be in people’s homes for a long time. If you have any recalled flour products in your home, throw them away.
In addition, raw eggs that are used to make raw dough or batter can contain a germ called Salmonella that can make you sick if the eggs are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Eggs are safe to eat when cooked and handled properly.
In addition to this timely food safety warning, the CDC also wants to remind you of a recall of four varieties of a popular cake mix brand due to a strain of salmonella that has been linked to the product. Several flavors of Duncan Hines cake mix are part of the recall, including Classic White, Classic Yellow Cake, Classic Butter Golden Cake, and Confetti Cake varieties.
The recall affects 15.25 oz. boxes of the product with “best if used by” dates ranging from March 7th to March 13th, 2019. Thus far, a handful of infection cases have been reported in three states: Wisconsin, Ohio, and Maryland.