Eating Raw Cookie Dough Won’t Make You Sick (Probably)

Cookie dough taste

Our lives have been a lie. From brownie batters to chocolate chip cookie dough we’ve been subjected to a wagging finger followed by a “don’t eat that you’ll get sick!” Well, it turns out that good ol’ Mom might have been keeping us away from this sweet stuff for no reason at all since it’s actually really hard to get salmonella from eggs.

We all know that the best part of making cookies is sneaking a taste of that sweet raw cookie dough and no one knows that better than Slate assistant editor L.V. Anderson. At the age of 27 she’s roughly consumed 360 raw eggs in her 15 years of baking and has never gotten sick. Anderson looked into the research behind salmonella and found that salmonella in eggs is rare to begin with.

Back in the 1980′s a salmonella outbreak in the US got hundreds of Americans sick and killed a few dozen. Because this was an egg-associated outbreak measures were put in place to ensure hens avoided infection. Just because a hen has salmonella doesn’t mean she’ll lay infected eggs though. Since new protocols were put in place it’s estimated that 0.012 percent of eggs would be contaminated with salmonella and even THAT doesn’t mean that you’ll get sick.

As long as you keep your eggs at or below 45 degrees your eggs will be safe. At these temperatures the salmonella bacteria can’t grow. It’s when you leave eggs out on the counter or at unsafe temperatures that you should start worrying. Even if you did ingest a little salmonella the chances that you’ll get sick are still relatively low, Anderson explains that salmonella doesn’t “do so well in a healthy human intestinal tract, where they have to compete with thousands of other bacteria for nutrients.”

Basically as long as your not eating tubs of raw cookie dough on the daily you’ll be fine. But in case you’re still worried you could always just cook the dough…

H/T + PicThx Slate, Photobucket

Ashley spends her days hidden away in a cubicle but moonlights as a writer for her websites, Chronicles of a Foodie and Chixelate. She also bakes up sweet treats in her spare time under the moniker Smashbakes.

  • Linda Lovelush

    It probably won’t make me sick, but I’ll be in big trouble anyway. I’m allergic to raw/undercooked egg. Can’t even scrape my finger along the edge of a cake batter bowl. Did that once without thinking and I regretted it.

  • Anonymous

    there’s a pretty big difference between roughly consuming 360 eggs, and consuming roughly 360 eggs.

  • Anonymous

    Anderson’s stance is ridiculous. There are more than 300,000 cases of Salmonella caused by raw or undercooked eggs in this country every year. She obviously doesn’t understand statistics and logical reasoning. Just because SHE “probably” didn’t get sick doesn’t mean others are safe. What a stupid article.

    • Kurt

      Care to share where you derived your information? Here is what I found, “CDC researchers found a significant decrease in Salmonella outbreaks associated with eggs.” See attached link:

    • KaseyJones

      Clearly she pulled the number 300,000 out of her rear end just to be contrary and hoped no one would check on it. Everything I could find states a much smaller number, including government websites.

  • Anonymous

    Why none of the big dough co’s are capitalizing on this (safe raw cookie dough,) is a complete mystery to me. Plenty of non-egg recipe’s going around. Seems like the demand would be there.

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