Can Eating Raw Cookie Dough Cause Illness from E. Coli?

Who doesn't love to lick raw cookie dough off baking utensils? However, it may be time to start thinking twice about this favorite pastime after new research has found that the cause of a 2009 multi-state E. coli outbreak that causes 77 people in 30 states to become ill (and over 50% to be hospitalized) was ready-to-bake prepackaged cookie dough.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) believe the problem was with the flour since raw flour does not go through the same rigorous process as eggs, molasses and sugar to kill harmful bacteria.

Given the widespread knowledge that eating raw cookied dough is a popular pastime, CDC researchers have called on raw cookie dough manufacturers to make their product safer as a ready-to-eat product, and to educate the public about the risks.

In short, raw cookie dough manufacturers should expect their product will be eaten raw, and institute appropriate precautions in the manufacturing process.