Health officials are once again warning people against eating raw cookie dough at Christmas
When it comes to Christmas time, there's truly no better feeling than running your finger around a cake bowl and licking off that sugary batter.
Maybe it's the taste, perhaps it's just the naughty nature of the whole thing, but everyone knows that cookie dough blows any other sweet treat out of the water.
However, there's a spanner in the works - and you're not going to like it.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a grave warning to baking enthusiasts out there. One that told us not to eat cookie dough under any circumstances.
In a statement titled 'Say No To Raw Dough!', the leading national public health institute of the United States sternly reminded everyone of the health risks that come with handling raw dough.
"When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully cooked," they wrote. "But 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 statement continued: "Flour is typically a raw agricultural product. This means it hasn’t been treated to kill germs like Escherichia coli (E. coli). Harmful germs can contaminate grain while it’s still in the field or at other steps as flour is produced.
"The bacteria are killed when food made with flour is cooked. This is why you should never taste or eat raw dough or batter—whether made from recalled flour or any other flour."
The CDC went on to inform their audience that the raw eggs present in cake batter also aren't the safest ingredient.
"In addition, raw eggs that are used to make raw dough or batter can contain a germ called Salmonella that can make you sick if the eggs are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Eggs are safe to eat when cooked and handled properly," they wrote.
They went on to remind cake lovers to exercise safe food handling practices while baking, including cleaning thoroughly after handling raw ingredients, keeping raw foods separate from ready-to-eat-foods and not letting children play with or eat cake mix.
In addition, they called attention to food poisoning symptoms, including diarrhoea, fever, and abdominal cramp.
However, the warning was not taken seriously by many out there on social media. Despite the serious caution, many people online argued that they had been eating cookie dough their entire lives and had never gotten sick.
Others insisted that the health risks were totally worth it, with one naming it "the most delicious game of Russian roulette you’ll ever play".
Many news outlets also questioned the legitimacy of the report, with some noting that it's estimated that only about 1 in 20,000 eggs contain salmonella and others stating E. coli outbreaks tied to flour are not a common occurrence.
So, should you be eating cookie dough this Christmas? Ultimately all you need to know is the CDC says absolutely not, but risk takers out there say: why not?