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Stop! Don't Eat Raw Cookie Dough!

By Sara Butler

Cookies, in almost every form, are delicious. And for a few of you out there, it's also good in the raw. Oh sure, your grandmother told you never to eat raw cookie dough, but the roughly 8,245 times you've done it in your life didn't end badly -- right? Beyond the fat and sugar in the dough, something else far sinister is lurking. Here's the real reason you should never, ever eat raw cookie dough.

It's the Eggs, Right?

You may think the reason not to eat raw cookie dough is that it contains uncooked eggs, but it turns out that it's not simply the eggs that pose the danger. Any raw baking ingredient presents some danger to your health. Eggs can be contaminated with salmonella, but you can also find danger in raw flour.

Yes, raw flour can be tainted with germs that make you sick! Just last year there was a recall on flour that was contaminated with E. coli, a bacteria that can make you really sick. Raw flour also has bacteria in it, which means that it needs to be cooked before you eat it just to be safe.

What Will It Do?

So, say you did have a little nibble of raw cookie dough -- what can happen? Well, it can make you sick. And not just in an "I ate something bad" kind of way, either. Salmonella can cause you to have abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fever. It can last for up to a week and may require hospitalization for some people.

E. coli can cause some of the same symptoms, but some people have such severe symptoms that they end up with kidney failure -- one of the dangers of infection from E. coli.

Who's At Risk?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that people with a weakened immune system, older adults, and young children are at the highest risk of becoming sick by eating raw cookie dough. But it's important to note that anyone at any age can become ill from contaminated ingredients.

Oh, Come On! Does It Really Hurt?

The truth is that for most people, a couple of bites of raw dough won't do anything. But is it really worth the chance of a possible negative outcome for you or a loved one? Just cook the dough -- or better yet, enjoy a nice salad.

The CDC isn't trying to ruin your good times but trying to keep you safe. So follow the CDC's suggestions and avoid food-borne illness!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Shreveport, La.

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