Don’t eat the dough … or don’t let junior eat the dough. While once a source of fond memories from mom’s kitchen, this habit is going the way of black and white TV and Sunday drives.
So what’s the danger with cookie dough? It’s the raw eggs and what’s on and in the eggs: Salmonella enteritidus. Salmonella makes kids sick with diarrhea, fever, chills and abdominal pain. And the younger and older you are the sicker you get. This bug can be deadly in infants and the elderly. Raw and uncooked eggs have been implicated in over 80% of Salmonella infections. Once believed to be an organism found only on the outside of eggs, it’s now known that these organisms can make their way into the eggs before they’re fully formed.
Other foods that commonly contain raw eggs: homemade ice cream, Caesar salad dressing, hollandaise sauce, tiramisu, frostings and eggnog. Prepared products such as these are typically safe as they’re made with pasteurized egg products.
A few tips to keep Salmonella away:
- Say no to cookie dough
- Keep eggs refrigerated – while it won’t kill the bacteria on the eggs it will prevent bug proliferation.
- Use proper hand washing and discard shells to prevent cross-contamination.
- Avoid dishes in restaurants cooked with undercooked eggs
- Don’t kiss the family turtle (known carriers of Salmonella)
Since my son behaves like some sort of crazed crack addict whenever around chocolate chip cookie dough I’ll be preoccupied over the next couple of weeks with keeping his roaming fingers out of the bowl.
For more information on salmonella check out the CDC's FAQ on Salmonella