Put down your spatulas.
In a recent report from the Food and Drug Administration, the agency says the consumption of raw cookie dough is unsafe—not because of the classic salmonella-in-eggs excuse (which you don't actually have to worry about!), because of a recent outbreak of E. coli found in flour.
The FDA linked the outbreak to flour made in November 2015 at Kansas City, Mo. at a General Mills plant. Affected brands include Gold Medal, Gold Medal Wondra, and Signature Kitchens. There has been a recall of flour produced Nov. 14 and Dec. 4—So if you know you bought those brands of flour within that time period, you should throw it away.
Authorities at the FDA said that the contamination causes stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting. While the illnesses can vary in severity, there have been 38 reported cases of problems stemming from the consumption of raw dough.
Of course, most people tend to link E. coli to products like raw meat and vegetables, so it may seem strange that such drastic measures are being taken for flour.
“Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” Leslie Smoot, Ph.D., said in a statement released on the FDA’s website. “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.” Smoot works as a senior advisor to the FDA and she is also a specialist in food safety, so she knows what she's talking about.
Because of this outbreak, the FDA says raw cookie dough should never be consumed—the risk of contamination is too high. Time to toss that batch you had saved up for Monday's new Bachelorette episode.