The Real Reason You Shouldn't Eat Raw Cookie Dough (It's Not the Eggs)

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Confession: We love cookie dough even more than we love the actual cookies. Yeah, we know it can make us sick—raw eggs, salmonella, yadda-yadda-yadda. But it turns out, it’s not the eggs that make raw dough so scary.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (there they go again, spoiling our fun), it’s actually the flour that’s particularly problematic.

Here’s why: Flour is a raw agricultural product, which means it’s not treated or pasteurized to kill naturally occurring bacteria (like E. coli, yuck) that can contaminate the product from harvesting to processing. (Think about it: Wheat grows on farms…animals live on farms…animals poop on farms…you get the picture.)

And while eggs are often the first to blame, they’re more strictly regulated by the FDA. (They’re also stored in the refrigerator, where bacteria are less likely to flourish.) And fun fact: The salmonella bacteria that eggs are known for actually comes from the shells…which are hopefully not in your cookies.

So basically, when you dip into that batch of chocolate-chip dough, you might be consuming harmful microorganisms that could make you seriously ill.

OK, we’ve been warned. We solemnly swear we won’t eat the dough. Better yet, we’ll make this snack-safe version instead.

(Side note: This flour thing also means that homemade play-dough is not safe to eat…as tempting as that is.)

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Katherine Gillen

Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...
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