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Health: Raw Cookie Dough Warning From Federal Health Officials

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Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 and The CW Philly 57’s Emmy Award-win...
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By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A cookie dough warning from Federal Health Officials. They say it can be dangerous if eaten raw. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl is here with more on the safety alert.

Today the CDC released findings from the last cookie dough recall. They’re reminding consumers about the dangers of eating it raw, and calling on manufacturers to make it safer.

Holiday cookies are a big item this time of year. But the Centers for Disease Control warns eating raw cookie dough, a popular indulgence for many, could be dangerous.

“It’s delicious. Usually when I’m baking cookies I kind of eat about one fourth of the dough, unfortunately,” said Danielle Parker-Mangum, of Cheltenham.

The CDC says eating raw cookie dough, whether home-made or store-bought, could make you seriously sick.

“You shouldn’t eat raw cookie dough regardless of what flavor or where you got it,” said Dr. Karen Neil, with the Centers for Disease Control.

The new research on cookie dough is based on an E. coli outbreak two years ago, that hospitalized 35 people and led to a major recall.

Yes, E. coli usually associated with ground beef was found in cookie dough. The bacteria causes fever and stomach pain. In the worst cases, it can cause kidney failure.

Investigators still aren’t sure which ingredient caused the 2009 outbreak, but they’ve identified flour as the most likely culprit.

“Flour is an agricultural product, and it doesn’t usually undergo specific processing to kill pathogens. So we think flour is the prime suspect,” said Dr. Neil.

It’s important to follow the cooking directions, and resist the temptation to eat raw cookie dough. There are other ways to get your fix. The CDC says “ready to eat” products, like cookie dough ice cream, are okay.

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