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