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Get your bake on—but lay off the raw dough

Dec. 30, 2019—It's hard to resist a quick taste of cookie dough or batter when you're baking, but that bite could have serious consequences. Raw eggs that are used to make dough or batter can contain Salmonella. And flour can contain bacteria such as E. coli. Both can make you sick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these tips for safely handling any raw batter or dough:

  • Don't taste-test even a little bit of raw dough or batter.
  • Don't let children eat or play with raw dough, including dough for crafts.
  • Follow the directions for cooking or baking foods at the correct temperature and for the right length of time.
  • Don't make milkshakes with products that contain raw flour, like cake mix.
  • Don't use raw, homemade cookie dough in ice cream. (If you buy cookie dough ice cream at the store, you're OK. The dough inside commercial ice cream has been treated to prevent illness.)
  • Keep raw foods, such as flour and eggs, stored separately from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Do a thorough cleanup after handling flour, eggs, or raw dough or batter. Wash your hands with running water and soap. And wash all utensils and countertops with warm, soapy water.

Double-check that flour

In recent years, several outbreaks of E. coli infections have been traced to flour sold under various brand names. If you have flour that's been in your pantry for a while, check it against this list of flour recalled in the latest outbreak. If you've stored flour in a container and don't remember the brand or "use by" date, throw it out to be safe—and give the container a thorough cleaning.

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