The next time you feel like binging on raw cookie dough, you may want to think twice. On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against eating the infamous guilty pleasure, after a recent E. coli outbreak that’s been linked to flour.
Since last December, 38 people across the country have suffered infections of the dangerous bacteria, experiencing symptoms that include vomiting and severe stomach cramps. While the illness usually lasts no longer than a week, 10 people have been hospitalized, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since the outbreak, General Mills has recalled 10 millions pound of flour. “Flour, regardless of the brand, can contain bacteria that cause disease,” the FDA said in a statement. “So if an animal heeds the call of nature in the field, bacteria from the animal waste could contaminate the grain, which is then harvested and milled into flour.”
Beyond cookie dough, the agency has warned parents to monitor their children when interacting with any products that might contain flour, such as play dough. Restaurants have also been advised not to serve customers raw dough, though we don’t know if we would ever dine at one of those establishments in the first place.
The good news is that high heat kills E. coli bacteria, meaning once you cook that dough up, it’s safe to eat. So the next time you decide to feast on some chocolate chip goodness, whip out the KitchenAid mixer, roll out the dough, and just remember to bake it in the oven.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure? Will the latest warning against raw cookie dough devastate your sweet tooth?