CDC wants you 'Say no to raw cookie dough' this holiday season

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"Say no to raw dough".

The CDC notes that in 2016 an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to raw flour made 63 people sick.

It's a Christmas tradition to make Christmas cookies, and who hasn't licked the bowl afterward, or at least snuck a little taste of the raw cookie dough?

The CDC also asks people to check for recalled flour products because it can sit on the shelf for a while before it's used. They say this is one of the many reasons you shouldn't taste your dough before its baked.

Grains are grown in fields near animals that can introduce contaminants that remain throughout the entire collection and transportation process.

The CDC wants to remind all the bakers that eating or tasting unbaked products can make you sick, according to their website. Flour can contain E. coli and raw eggs can contain salmonella.

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Do not let children play with or eat raw dough, including dough for crafts.

Several flavors of Duncan Hines cake mix are part of the recall, including Classic White, Classic Yellow Cake, Classic Butter Golden Cake, and Confetti Cake varieties. Instead, we use eggs that have been pasteurized to kill any harmful bacteria without actually cooking the egg itself.

(However, according to the FDA, commercial cookie dough ice cream is typically safe because it is made with treated flour and pasteurized eggs.) The CDC also urges people to thoroughly wash their hands with warm, soapy water and to clean all work surfaces, dishes and utensils when working with raw eggs and flour.

Do not make milkshakes with products that contain raw flour, such as cake mix.

However, not all public health experts agree that raw cookie dough is unsafe.

"While Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products contain heat-treated flour and pasteurized eggs, these products are not meant to be consumed raw and should be baked as directed prior to consumption", says Nestle spokeswoman Lauren Brady. Because flour is a powder, it can spread easily.

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