With the holidays comes time for baking cookies, cakes, and breads. While you might be tempted to sample your goodies before they go into the oven, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning people not to dig into those gingerbread cookies or challah until they have been fully cooked, or you may be spending the holidays in bed. That’s because consuming uncooked dough puts you at risk of getting sick from E. Coli or salmonella, reports the Hill.
“When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully cooked. 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,” the CDC said on its website.
It isn’t just the eggs and flour in baked goods that can get you sick. If you use those ingredients in crafts with the kiddies, you need to be cautious. “Children can get sick from handling or eating raw dough used for crafts or play clay, too,” the CDC warned.
The CDC also warned people to avoid cake mixes from Duncan Hines, some of which have been recalled due to possible contamination with salmonella, and to watch for flour that was recalled as part of a disease outbreak in 2016. Some of these flours, including Gold Medal flours from General Mills and biscuit mixes from Marie Callender’s, may still be on household shelves. These contaminated flour products may contain E. coli, which made 63 people in 24 states sick in 2016.
For some people, like award-winning baker Kim Powers of ABC News‘ 20/20, the risk is worth it. He says that the taste of raw cookie dough takes him back to childhood, so he’ll deal with the possibility of getting sick if it means having a taste of his youth. The CDC warns that if you do decide to lick your mixing spoon, you will want to watch out for E. coli symptoms, which usually take a few days after ingestion to appear.
“Food poisoning symptoms may range from mild to severe and may differ depending on the germ you swallowed. The symptoms of E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting,” the CDC wrote.
Salmonella, on the other hand, can show up within six to 48 hours and causes fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps that last from four to seven days.
The message is part of the CDC’s push to keep people safe and healthy during the holidays.