The FDA Robs Us Of Small Joys With Cookie Dough Warning

Are raw cookies worth diarrhea and cramps? FDA says no

raw cookie dough
Say goodbye to this forever: Raw cookie doughRobert S. Donovan via Flickr

Do you have precious childhood memories of stealing a spoonful of cookie dough out of the mixing bowl? Or less-precious memories of grabbing a bottle of post-breakup red and peeling a tube of pre-made chocolate chip dough like it's a banana?

Well, the Food and Drug Administration is here to ruin your day slash life. This risk-taking caloric indulgence is now officially on their "hell no" list. In an announcement today, the Powers That Kill Buzzes warn that raw cookie dough, even if it doesn't contain raw eggs, is dangerous to your health.

This time the danger is in the flour. “Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” Leslie Smoot, Ph.D., a senior advisor in FDA’s Office of Food Safety said in the post.

Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli in animal waste dropped where the grain is grown can find its way to your kitchen and your sticky fingers. Baking, boiling, roasting, microwaving, or frying the cookies (or bread, pizza dough, whatever contains raw flour) kills the bacteria. Homemade cookie dough ice cream is also off-limits, which is a thing I hadn't even considered making until they mentioned it, so thanks a lot, FDA.

Symptoms of E. coli sickness include bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Most people recover in a week, but it can get life-threatening to the point of kidney failure. Children are most vulnerable to contracting it, so flour-based "play dough" is also out.

With this knowledge, you are now free to go about your day. Remember that the FDA doesn't own you, life is short, hug your loved ones, etc.