From time to time, I get offers for guest posts on this site. Recently, I was submitted one entitled: Is Raw Cookie Dough Safe to Eat? I was quite excited to read this post because I do have some opinions on the matter. The joke in my family is that you have to make twice as much cookie dough as you need to make your cookies because I will eat the rest.
Unfortunately, I had to reject the article. It was just factually incorrect. The overall message of the article was no, it isn’t. But in reality, raw cookie dough is safe to eat.
Raw Eggs and Salmonella
The big reason that people get the impression about cookie dough safety is the eggs. Raw cookie dough is obviously going to contain raw eggs. People have become so afraid of salmonella that any raw poultry product is assumed contaminated.
The risk of salmonella infection is only about 1 in 30,000 in the first place. That’s pretty low. Looked at another way, the average consumer would come across an egg that had been contaminated with salmonella once every 84 years. In other words, longer than I plan on being around.
But here’s the kicker. Eggs sold commercially in the US are pasteurized! So while eggs sold at a farm stand stand a 0.005% chance of being unsafe, eggs in the supermarket are safer to eat than the fresh produce.
Food safety warnings
Another point the rejected article brought up was food safety warnings. If you ever buy a package of cookie dough, you will see food safety warnings warning that the food must be cooked to a certain temperature and is unsafe to eat raw.
Want to know why that warning is there? Because the lawyers made them do it. They want to limit their risk of getting sued as much as possible, so they warn that perfectly safe behaviors are unsafe. I have a package of veggie burgers in the freezer. They are nothing more than patties of vegetable puree. Carrot, tomato, spinach, etc. Produce. All foods that I eat raw on a consistent basis.
Buck the package warns that the patties must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160. This warning has less to do with actual food safety than simple risk management.
So, yes. Raw cookie dough is safe to eat. So go enjoy it.
- Interview With Lindsay Landis, Author of The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook (rarebirdfinds.typepad.com)
- Cookie Dough (reemfaruqi.com)
- I ♥ Cookie Dough (13happythings.wordpress.com)