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Low cookie dough: uncooked flour can have E. coli




A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine details an E. coli outbreak in 2016 related to flour and found that the problem may be more common than previously thought.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – It's the holiday season, which means that many families will soon be baking. For all those who love cookies and can not resist eating raw cookie dough, health experts have a warning.

They say that eating raw cookie dough can make you sick.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine details an E. coli outbreak in 2016 related to flour and found that the problem may be more common than previously thought.

"Our data show that although it is a food with little moisture, raw flour can be a vehicle for food-borne pathogens," the study said.

The symptoms of E. coli can begin from one to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria. They can include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and fever, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. UU Most people improve in five to seven days.

However, some develop a serious complication called haemolytic uraemic syndrome, in which the kidneys stop functioning. This can be life-threatening, and patients who recover can experience permanent kidney damage.

The new study detailed an outbreak that caused 63 cases of disease in 24 states. Seventeen people were hospitalized.

An investigation by the FDA and the USDA into the matter led to the withdrawal of 10 million pounds of flour.

"Linking this outbreak to flour was a challenge, raw or undercooked flour consumption is not included in most state and national food-borne disease questionnaires, so epidemiologists could not initially assess whether the patients had consumed raw flour, "says the report, adding that many of the patients also reported consuming chocolate chips, which were discarded as the cause. It was later determined that these patients were baking with flour and chocolate chips.

The authors cautioned that the outbreak was worsened by human behavior: "The consumption of raw or undercooked homemade dough or dough, which has been discouraged for a long time due to the known risk of salmonellosis from consuming raw eggs, as well as allow children to play with raw dough in restaurants and use flour to make play dough for children at home. "

Unfortunately, the advice here is to wash that spoon and bowl without giving in to the temptation to try.


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