Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Raw Cookie Dough Sparks CDC Warning


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a renewed call to the public to stop eating raw cookie dough after confirming an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened people in 11 states. The agency has launched an investigation into the outbreak, which has so far reported 12 illnesses and required hospitalization for three individuals.

“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” warned the CDC. States reporting a case of infection include California, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, and Illinois, which has reported two cases.

The CDC is working to determine the specific brand of flour responsible for the illnesses. Of the seven people public health officials were able to speak with, six reported eating raw dough or batter in the week before they became sick. The only common ingredient was flour.

“Flour doesn’t look like raw food, but most flour is raw,” explained the agency. “This means it hasn’t been treated to kill germs that cause food poisoning.” The germs could include salmonella, which is killed when flour is cooked or baked.

The CDC recommends avoiding raw doughs or batters and using heat-treated flour. It also advises washing surfaces and utensils that have touched raw flour and keeping raw flour separate from foods that won’t be cooked. 

Symptoms of salmonella infection can begin between six hours and six days after ingestion, and most people recover without treatment within four to seven days.


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