CDC Warns Against Eating Raw Cookie Dough Because We Can't Have Nice Things

by Valerie Williams
Image via Stella/Getty Images

No more raw cookie dough, says the CDC

The Centers For Disease Control is just out there trying to keep us alive and well and while we totally appreciate it, we’re also a little bummed that they had to be a holiday buzzkill and beg us not to eat raw cookie dough.

Sigh. Dammit, science. You’re always right.

While we know they’re absolutely correct that consuming raw cookie dough can be dangerous, it’s still hard to stop taking those little tastes of heaven before they go into the oven. They get our plight, but they’re also not here for our goofy dough-eating nonsense with their stern warning.

“When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully cooked,” they caution in a new statement. “But steer clear of this temptation—eating or tasting unbaked products that are intended to be cooked, such as dough or batter, can make you sick.”

OK, so they have really valid reasons, obviously. They’re the CDC and I’m a 37-year-old woman with all the caution and restraint of Cookie Monster when it comes to baked goods, so we will go with their expertise here. Raw eggs, which are blended into most doughs and batters, can contain salmonella, which can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. In those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and infants it can be much more serious.

Sadly, eggs aren’t the only ingredient that could cause a little holiday trip to the ER — the CDC is also sounding the alarm on raw flour, which can contain E. coli. “In 2016, an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to raw flour made 63 people sick,” they warn. “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.”

E. coli symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, and vomiting.

Happy holidays.

They also warn that kids can get sick just handling raw dough, and of course, eating it. If you let the kids play with dough sometimes for craft or play, be advised that the CDC advises against it entirely due to the risks involved.

If you’re like me and not at all ready to give up on the joy eating cookie dough brings, take heart — a quick Google turns up a number of edible cookie dough recipes that specify using a heat treated all-purpose flour (so, not raw) and no eggs, duh. That means you can have your cookie (dough) and eat it too, without becoming violently ill. Either that, or be happy with the fully baked variety, which, no complaints there, TBH.

Even though the excitement of eating a blob of raw dough mid-bake is pretty much impossible to replicate, we should probably steer away from a holiday tradition that could give us (and our kids) explosive poops and bouts of severe vomiting.

You win this one, CDC.