Cookie Dough is a Big No
New York: Tasting uncooked foods made with flour can make you dangerously ill, according to a study published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. The report, which recounts the detective work that led to a recall of more than 10 million pounds of flour in the summer 2016, confirms that a type of E. coli bacteria previously discovered lurking in wet environments like hamburger meat and leafy vegetables can also thrive in arid hosts. Because of concerns over raw eggs, precautions have long existed for licking batter-laced spoons and nibbling homemade cookie dough. But the new results expand both the array of raw goods to be concerned about — even homemade playdough! — and the reasons to be vigilant. More than a quarter of the 56 patients in the 24-state outbreak were hospitalized. One patient even went into kidney failure. All of the patients, whose ages ranged from 1 to 95, recovered. Identifying the cases and the cause was a relentless undertaking that involved doctors and clinics, state health workers and investigators from the Food and Drug Administration and the C.D.C. The symptoms patients experienced included abdominal pain, mild fever, vomiting and diarrhea, which was often bloody. Stool samples helped isolate the strain and point to a cluster. By February 2016, federal investigators started tracking the culprit.