CDC Warns Against Eating Raw Cookie Dough Ahead of Peak Holiday Baking

The joys of eating cookie dough need to be tempered with the reality that it really isn’t safe. To those of you who like to dip your finger in the mix before popping your cookies into the oven, you’re being warned.

Yeah, it tastes good. In fact, it tastes so good that ice cream flavors have been created to mimic the deliciousness of cookie dough. So, what’s the problem? Salmonella and E. coli, folks.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is ramping up warnings this holiday season with a special announcement titled “Say No to Raw Dough!” It has quite the ring to it, yes?

The agency points out that raw dough and batter for baked goods contain untreated flour which could be tainted with E. coli. This is because the grains are exposed to numerous elements while in the field and during the production phase. However, killing germs is not a part of the process.

To really drive home the point, the CDC reminds us that a 2016 Salmonella outbreak linked to raw flour made 63 people sick. We are also being urged to watch out for dough or clay products that children play with – especially the DIY sort – as it can contain contaminated flour.

In addition to flour being a risk factor, your unbaked goodies that contain eggs may contain Salmonella. Raw or undercooked eggs can potentially make you ill if ingested in raw dough or batter.

Because there is an uptick in baking and sweets consumption during the holidays, our friends at the CDC want to make sure we are taking precautions. They emphasized that only when these items are cooked thoroughly that the harmful bacteria are killed.

Who really has time to be glued to the toilet when festivities are under way? If you just can’t help but to lick the bowl when baking, there are some alternatives such as going egg free (shout out to all the vegans) or making flourless treats.

There are also such things as pasteurized eggs and heat-treated flour for all you fancy bakers out there. Still, the CDC would like us all to keep these things in mind:

  • Bake and cook your raw dough and batter before eating according to the package directions. The same goes for from-scratch recipes.
  • Do not put raw flour into your milkshake.
  • Do not add raw cookie dough to your ice cream. As an aside, ice cream brands use a special pre-treated cookie dough for store-bought flavors.
  • Avoid letting children play with or eat products made with raw dough.

For more information on the do’s and don’ts of the CDC’s “Say No” campaign, visit their website at You are also encouraged to pay attention to any signs of food-related illnesses such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, or stomach cramping.

Jump to the video below to hear more about this warning. Remember, no raw dough!

Are you into eating raw cookie dough or cake batter? Will you heed the CDC’s warning? Have you ever gotten sick from eating uncooked batter or dough?