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Christmas baking: costing raw cookie dough can cause life-threatening intestinal infections

Christmas baking: costing raw cookie dough can cause life-threatening intestinal infections


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Experts strongly advise against eating raw dough

Especially at Christmas there are many people who like to bake cookies alone or with their children. The raw cookie dough is often eaten, either because it is left over or because it simply tastes delicious. However, researchers have now found that snacking on raw dough can trigger a life-threatening intestinal infection.

U.S. Scientist Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of eating raw cookie dough. The researchers found in an investigation that an ingredient in cookie dough could lead to an intestinal infection. The results of the study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

An ingredient in the batter can cause an intestinal infection

Are you one of those people who like to bake cookies themselves during Christmas? Then you probably have already nibbled the raw dough of the cookies a few times, after all it is so delicious and the remains are too good to throw away. Health experts are now warning that eating raw dough can lead to a life-threatening intestinal infection. This is due to an ingredient in the raw dough. Most people will probably think of eggs here, but the problem is not the eggs in the dough, but possible bacterial contamination of the flour contained, explain the doctors.

What are the effects of an E. coli infection?

The raw flour can contain E. coli bacteria which cause a corresponding infection. This leads to various unpleasant health effects for those affected. Symptoms include, for example, vomiting, nausea, headache and diarrhea. To avoid infection and its negative consequences, raw dough should not be consumed, regardless of whether it is the dough for bread, cookies or pizza, warn the experts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. health agency.

American flour maker starts recall

A study on this subject was launched in 2016 after the American flour manufacturer General Mills recalled various products from the market. The reason was that the raw flour contained was responsible for the outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infections.

No cases so far in Germany

So far, there have been no confirmed cases in Germany in which people developed an intestinal infection from eating cookie dough, but hobby bakers should still be careful.

How is the flour contaminated?

But why can raw flour cause such a partially life-threatening intestinal infection at all? The reason for the health risks from eating is the processing of the flour. The cereal grains are harvested directly from the field and then immediately processed into flour. No treatment is carried out that prevents contamination by bacteria. Without such treatment, the residues of feces from birds and other animals can remain on the grains. These contaminants are then rendered ineffective by baking or cooking. However, if the dough is eaten raw, disease-causing residues are still included. (as)

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