Who doesn’t love eating raw cookie dough? If that’s not your jam, maybe you prefer licking cake batter out of the bowl or off the spatula.
Whichever ones your preference, stop doing it before you get really sick. Even if your recipe doesn’t call for eggs, don’t do it. Eggs aren’t the only danger when it comes to raw dough.
Did you know there’s an equally dangerous runner-up, no one seems to talk about when it comes to uncooked cookie dough?
The dangers of raw eggs
Before we delve into the other ingredient present in raw cookie dough and cake batter, I have one thing to say about raw eggs.
There’s a chance you can contract Salmonella from eating foods that contain raw eggs. This may be the first time you’re hearing this, and then again it may not be. If you never knew this before, you’ll want to read, How To Prevent Food Poisoning in Children. or 10 Crazy Ways To Prevent Food Poisoning. You can also grab yourself a cheat sheet to keep in your kitchen or toss in your purse to keep you and your family safe from food poisoning. You can request that down below.
Now, this is coming from a woman who used to put raw eggs in her kid’s milk when he was two. If I could go back in time to when I was 25, I’d seriously give myself a bitch slap followed by a good smack on the side of my head with a cast-iron skillet, and say, “Wake up sweetheart; you have so much to learn”.
What I’m about to say will probably ruffle your feathers, but hey, what’s life without a little controversy?
Being hopelessly addicted to Pinterest, like I’m sure you are since that’s how you probably found me. (Yes, Toto, you’re not on Pinterest anymore). I’m constantly bombarded with edible raw cookie dough recipes clogging up my feed.
After opening up several of them, they all seemed to have one thing in common. All the recipes for the cookie dough were egg-free. Yay, that made me so happy.
Yes! The mommies and foodies of the world know you stand a greater risk of giving your family Salmonella food poisoning, by handling and eating raw eggs.
However, there was one thing most had listed in their recipes that sent a chill down my spine.
Do you have a clue what it is?
Here are a few hints.
- Chicken tastes better after being dipped in it, then fried.
- We use it in just about everything we bake.
- It takes an act of congress to clean it off the kitchen counter if it gets wet.
- It’s a staple in DIY homemade clay.
Did you guess it?
Flour. That’s right, it’s flour. They’re sharing with you recipes where you and your kids will be eating raw flour.
That wonderful silky, soft and fluffy white powder we use for so many things, from arts and crafts to cooking and baking delicious cakes, pizza, biscuits, brownies, breading on fried chicken and my beloved chicken piccata; but, most of all cookie dough and cake batter, can cause serious harm to you or your kids.
What’s the low-down on flour?
Just in case you didn’t know, flour comes from all sorts of grains. It can be wheat, buckwheat, corn, barley, rice and many other types of grains.
How do grains grow? On the ground in the field; which subjects them to all sorts of fertilizers, insect and animal poop. No one wants to think about that when you’re busy chowing down on some peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough.
But, it’s a reality.
During my time looking around Pinterest, I also noticed there were a lot of articles touting the phrase, “Egg Free. No Raw Flour”.
Regardless of what you may have read, all commercially sold flour is raw.
Therefore, all flour has the potential of harboring that dreaded E.coli. Just because the flour you buy is either “gluten-free”, “all-purpose”, or “bleached”, it’s still raw.
Go into your kitchen right now, and if you still have a package of flour in your cupboard, look to see if it says the following: “DO NOT EAT RAW DOUGH OR BATTER” or something similar to that nature. $50 says it does.
Although the rate of illness isn’t high by ingesting raw flour, is it really something you want to risk?
You gotta face the facts. Would you rather eat raw cookie dough and take the chances you may be eating raw flour that could have been tainted, or just pass it by and not eat it.
If you’ve never had food poisoning before, you can’t understand how much you wish you were dead right at the moment. It’s painful, it’s gross, and it will knock the living piss out of you for a few days while you’re recovering. Just think, was that raw cookie dough worth the pain?
Is gluten-free flour safer than all-purpose flour?
Nope. No matter how you slice it, flour is flour. Just because the flour you bought at the store is “gluten-free” it doesn’t mean it’s any safer than using “all-purpose” flour. Here’s why.
Most flours are milled at the same processing plants. Due to this, cross-contamination can take place. All grains regardless of their type are subject to E.coli if they were grown in the ground. Processing and bleaching don’t kill germs and E.coli.
FACT: Just because you found a recipe or a DIY flour craft project for the kids on Pinterest, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat or touch.
Many people aren’t aware by eating commercially sold flour, you’re actually eating raw flour in your cookie dough.
Before the haters gonna hate, let me just say this. All of the wonderful, talented mommy and food bloggers who’s websites you found via Pinterest, aren’t trying to pull a fast one on you. I truly believe in my heart, they, like me, are trying to give you the best and most valuable and accurate information out there to make your life easier.
The only caveat is, they may not be aware of the dangers of eating raw flour.
Not everybody knows everything about every subject. Heck, there’s tons of stuff I still don’t know, and I’m older than dirt! Well, maybe not dirt, but definitely astroturf.
Let’s get to the facts Jack
Raw edible cookie dough and cake batter
Contrary to popular belief all-purpose flour is raw. You would never know it after reading recipe after recipe on Pinterest denoting “edible cookie dough”. Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually does research or if each sheep follows the next. Before you start eating raw flour in cookie dough, you’ll need to learn exactly what the differences are between raw and cooked flour.
What exactly is raw flour
How can you tell the difference between raw flour and cooked flour?
You can’t. The only way to be 100% sure the flour you’re using is cooked, is by popping it in the microwave or oven and cooking it yourself.
Seriously? I can cook flour before using it for raw cake batter or cookie dough?
If you have some extra time on your hands and you really want to make some edible raw cookie dough, homemade clay for little Johnnie or Abigale, you’ll want to cook the flour first. It’s a little time consuming, but heck, isn’t eating raw cookie dough and licking the devil’s food batter spoon worth that extra time?
If you’re still gung hoe on licking the cake batter off the side of the bowl or spoon, you may want to cook the flour first. I would strongly recommend you do that if you’re using a boxed cake mix. The flour contained in your funfetti or red velvet cake is raw, so don’t let little Johnnie lick the inside of the mixing bowl.
The only issue with cooking the flour first is, it will sometimes result in a nutty flavor that may or may not make your red velvet cake taste like a pair of Uncle Phil’s dirty socks.
How to make raw flour safe to eat or play with
You can make your flour safe before using it for raw cookie dough or cake batter. The easiest way to do this is to place the flour in an oven-safe dish and place it in a preheated oven that was set at 250°F/120°C.
Shut the oven off and let it sit for 3 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F/70°C. You’ll need to use your trusty candy or food thermometer to take the internal temperature.
You can also do this in the microwave.
Put the flour in a microwaveable safe dish and cook on high for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.
Open the microwave in increments of 30 seconds and mixt the flour around to ensure it’s been cooked thoroughly.
Remember, the temperature needed to kill E. coli and Salmonella is 160°F/70°C.
Can my kids get sick by touching raw dough?
Yes. not only can your kids get sick by helping you make pizza from scratch, but they can also get E.coli by just playing with that awesome homemade clay you made.
There are documented cases throughout the CDC website where kids became ill after playing with raw dough from restaurants. So, yes, your kids can get sick from it, even if they don’t eat it.
You know perfectly well, kids love to put their fingers in their mouths as well as your mouth at times. If the flour you used to concoct the clay was tainted with E.coli and they touched it then put their fingers in their mouth, there is a very strong possibility they can become infected.
I’m not sayin’ it’s gonna happen. THERE’S A VERY STRONG POSSIBILITY IT CAN HAPPEN.
I know you love making stuff with your kids, but sometimes going to Walmart to get some clay is so much easier. If all else fails, get some glue, baking soda, and shaving cream and make slime instead.
I may be a grandma, and I love playing with clay, but if given the choice, I’d rather play slime with my grandson. Don’t you just love its squishy feel, the bubbles and slime farts it makes?
What happens if I catch my kid eating raw flour in cookie dough?
The first thing you need to do is to remain calm. There’s nothing worse than some mom freaking out in front of her kid.
You freak out; they freak out, the next thing you know you’re rushing to the medicine cabinet, shoving an entire bottle of syrup of ipecac down their throat, and waiting for Mt. St. Helens to erupt.
That’s totally a lose-lose situation, you don’t want to have to deal with later.
What you need to do is tell them not to do it again and keep an eye for any symptoms that may come up in the next day or so.
I know, your thinking, “My luck my kiddo will get a raging stomach bug and I’ll freak out again, trying to figure out if it is the stomach flu or food poisoning”. To keep yourself in check, grab this, symptom checker. Believe me, it will take a crap-ton of stress off your shoulder. (On a side note, I had to use the chart today, and it was a lifesaver).
How to clean flour off the kitchen counter and sink
When you’re cooking or baking with flour, you’re probably gonna get more flour on your kitchen counter than where it’s supposed to go. If you know a way to reduce the mess, hook a sister up and let me know!
Your first instinct may be to brush the flour either back into the flour container or slide it into the sink. While you wouldn’t want to reintroduce flour back into the container, you’re not going to want to put it in the sink either.
Once it’s in the sink, its gonna get wet, matted and stuck to the base of the sink, and anything that’s in there like plates, cups, and utensils. To un-stick it, you’re gonna have to scrub the bejeebies out of the sink to get all that flour down the drain.
Gonna brush it into the sink? No problem but be warned, if you shove a lot of the matted flour down the disposal at one time, it’s gonna clog your sink worse than if you tossed potatoes peels down the disposal.
This may sound a little counter-productive, but the best way to clean flour off the kitchen counter is to brush it onto the floor.
Once it’s on the floor use the hose attachment of your vacuum to suck it up. By not using the hose attachment, you stand a greater risk of blowing the flour all over the place, which will mean, you’ll have more to clean up at a later time.
Whatever is left on the floor can be picked up with either a dry swifter or a moist paper towel.
Facts about handing raw dough
According to the CDC:
- Don’t let your kids play with or eat raw dough, including dough for crafts.
- Don’t taste or eat any raw dough or batter, whether it’s for cookies, tortillas, pizza, biscuits, pancakes, or crafts made with flour, such as DIY homemade clay or DIY holiday ornaments made with flour.
- Bake raw cookie dough and cake mix batter, before eating.
- Don’t make cake batter milkshakes or homemade icecream with any type of flour, this includes cake mix.
- Don’t put raw homemade cookie dough in ice cream.
- IMPORTANT: Cookie dough ice cream sold in stores contains dough that has been treated to kill harmful bacteria, so you can still chow down on that to your heart’s content.
- Keep flour or eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods. Since flour’s a powder, it can spread easily and fly all over the place.
- Follow the directions on the label when it comes to refrigerated products containing dough or eggs until they’re cooked. You can snag yourself my Kitchen Resource Book that has over 36 printable charts for food safety and organization for $28 HERE or you can get it for $7 if you become a superhero bestie!
- Follow the recipe or package directions for cooking or baking at the proper temperature and for the specified time.
- Clean up thoroughly after handling flour, eggs, or raw dough:
- Wash your hands with hot soapy water after handling flour, raw eggs, or any surfaces they’ve touched.
- Wash your kitchen bowls, utensils, countertops, and other surfaces with warm, soapy water.
- Do a once over on your counters with a disposable antibacterial wipe or antibacterial spray kitchen cleaner.
- Don’t let your kids have a flour fight with each other.
Please remember. If you’re going to spend time with your kids making fun DIY clay projects, always nuke your flour in the microwave just to be safe.
If you skimmed all the way to the bottom, head on up to the Table of Contents and select bullet point 8.2, to learn how to cook your raw flour to make it safe to play with and to eat in raw cookie dough or cake batter.
Has this changed the way you feel about raw cookie dough and cake batter? Did you find it shocking to learn all flour is considered raw? Share in the comments below.
Until we meet again,