Who hasn’t eaten a bit of raw baking batter or cookie dough when you are told that you can lick the bowl? However you shouldn’t really eat raw batter and especially you shouldn’t let your children. According o the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), an American centre for control of illness, eating raw batter for cakes and cookies can leave us feeling ill!
Eating raw batter: Bacteria that can lead to illnesses
We are sure that you have already heard you shouldn’t eat raw food that should be cooked before eating. This includes your chocolate cake batter or your chocolate chip cookie dough. Children are more sensitive and can easily fall ill after they have touched these raw ingredients or eaten raw cake batter made with flour.
Our body as well as animal or land based produce including flour contains bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) which can cause sickness like gastroenteritis or symptoms like diarrhea , abdominal pain, vomiting and fever.
According to a french health research centre Institut Pasteur, “the majority of E. coli strains are harmless, and only some are pathogenic, as is the case of so-called E. coli strains. enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC), which causes bloody diarrhea and produces a potent toxin that causes Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).”
Flour is an unrefined agricultural product that is not generally treated to eliminate germs. However these bacteria are killed when a flour based mixture is cooked which is why you should avoid eating raw flour.
In 2016 there was an epidemic of E. coli infections caused by eating raw flour or (raw batter) which left 63 people ill in America.
Be wary of raw eggs in cake batter
Eggs that are used in raw cake batter can contain salmonella, which can lead to salmonella which is one of the main causes of food poisoning.
Another reason why you shouldn’t eat raw batter for tarts or for cakes is that it contains raw eggs and uncooked flour making it even more dangerous to eat.
According to the CDC, “Symptoms from the Salmonella bacteria generally appear 6 to 48 hours after having eaten the contaminated food although this period can sometimes be longer.”:
- Stomach cramps.
In the majority of cases, these symptoms can stay for between 4 to 7 days and can disappear without the need for antibiotics. However salmonella can have more serious consequences for the health of older people, infants and people who have a weak immune system. (Medical treatments, surgical operation, cancer..)
Remember to always wash your hands with soap and water before you use flour, raw eggs and when using surfaces and any utensils.