Licking cookie dough batter right off the wooden spoon might be fun, but a new study suggests that doing so might come with a few health risks. Published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases, the findings point to the possible presence of Escherchia Coli (E. coli) in some pre-packaged cookie dough.


Following an outbreak of E. coli that occurred in the US last 2009, the study reported 77 people from 30 states reported suffering from E. coli contamination while 35 people had to be hospitalized. After extensive tracing of products, the researchers were able to isolate the cookie dough as the main culprit and 3.6 million packages had to be recalled.

Unfortunately, researchers could not exactly determine how the contamination began in the first place. Considering the use-by dates on the dough, the authors speculate that the whole chain of contamination could have started with just one bad batch of flour that was used to create the dough mix.

In an effort to prevent any more incidents, the study is prompting new manufacturing guidelines for baking companies. Said standards should at least match those of ready-to-eat products. The study also aims to inform consumers about the dangers of eating raw cookie dough. In the meantime, we should be more wary with what we eat since foods that contain raw flour are especially susceptible to bacteria.

For more studies on E. coli, try this article:

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(Photo by eckerput via Flickr Creative Commons)

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