As the holidays approach, the next few weeks are peak cookie-baking season for many people. In an attempt to get bakers to stave off taste-testing delicious, uncooked dough, the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention has released a stern warning outlining the dangers inherent in raw cookies. As much as you may want to taste the cookies before they’re cooked (guilty), the CDC cautions, “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. Children can get sick from handling or eating raw dough used for crafts or play clay, too.”
The guilty party in your dough isn’t just the raw eggs, which can contain salmonella, but the raw flour, which can contain E. coli. Therefore, the CDC says not even just tasting the dough, but handling it can be dangerous, saying, “Do not let children play with or eat raw dough, including dough for crafts.” Does forming the cookies constitute “playing with”? What if we make them wear gloves or wash their hands a lot? When it comes to crafts, best stick to Play-Doh over the homemade kind.
When it comes to cookies, though, much as we love dough, the food-poisoning symptoms the CDC lists sound pretty dire (stomach cramps, vomiting, other unfun activities). So we will make a concerted effort to limit ourselves—and the kids—to cooked cookies this year.