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Has anyone you know ever actually gotten sick from eating raw cookie dough? [moved from Home Cooking]

I'm just curious because multiple friends & I have had this discussion. Now, it can't be "oh, I ate the entire thing and got sick" or "yeah, but I ate chicken salad that sat out earlier" or something, I mean real, food poisoning that more than likely couldn't have happened from any other source.

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  1. I have never gotten sick from eating raw cookie dough and I don't know anyone who has. I ALWAYS eat raw cookie dough. I also like to lick the beaters and spoons when I make cakes and brownies. I just can't stop myself!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Saluti

      Eating some of the raw batter and dough is part of the home baking experience! Can't say it's ever made me (or anyone I know) sick.

    2. Nope. I mean, it's basically impossible for the layperson to source minor gastrointestinal distress. But no, no major illness.

      2 Replies
      1. re: eight_inch_pestle

        Really? A reasonably intelligent and educated person can't sometimes figure it out?

        1. re: sandylc

          Since food poisoning can take weeks (yes, weeks) to manifest, no person, regardless of their intelligence, can ever be certain of the food that caused their distress. Certainty requires multiple people to become ill around the same time, all of whom consumed the same food item.

      2. The statistics for getting salmonella from raw egg are something like 1 in 20,000 or 30,000 or something. How many cookies are you eating raw? LOL

        13 Replies
        1. re: sedimental

          Hmm, I guess I'm getting up there in amount of cookies.. ;)

          1. re: rhumphrey205

            I know! It might not be so freakin' funny! :)

          2. re: sedimental

            3 things kill salmonella in you kitchen. Heat, acid, and sugar. There is enough sugar in cookie dough to kill salmonella.

            1. re: Brandon Nelson

              "3 things kill salmonella in you kitchen. Heat, acid, and sugar. There is enough sugar in cookie dough to kill salmonella."

              Do you have a link to support the "sugar kills salmonella" claim? Thats definitely a new one to me and Id like to read more about it if its the case.

              As to the OP's question, no I don't, because the odds of getting salmonella from raw eggs is tiny.

              1. re: twyst

                read away.

                However, the heat, acid, and sugar rule doesn't apply to RAW dough...hence the word heat.

                1. re: HillJ

                  I read that as heat, acid or high sugar. Doesn't mention high sugar in the presence of high heat.

                  1. re: sbp

                    Raw dough, which we obviously know is not heated, is what I was referring to. The CDC ref's the presence of salmonella once cooked.

                  2. re: HillJ

                    That link mentions that high sugar levels in general prevent bacteria in general from growing. It makes no mention of sugar's effect on salmonella specifically, makes no mention of how high the sugar level must be to stop bacterial reproduction, and makes no mention of the effect of sugar on a preexisting bacterial presence that already has the critical number of bacteria needed to cause infection. Not all bacteria respond the same way to the same conditions.

                    Frankly, sugar is probably not the answer here. It may prevent some bacteria from growing, but it probably won't prevent an already dangerous bacterial load from causing illness. Worse, there are various documented cases of salmonella specifically surviving well in a fairly highly sugared environment - the peanut butter outbreak just a couple years is one example. And then there is this:

                    The bigger factors in raw cookie dough are the incidence of contamination in eggs and factors in how the eggs and dough are stored (mainly temperature and time) which can keep contamination from turning into infection.

                    Like many commonly held food 'no nos,' eating raw cookie dough doesn't strike me as highly dangerous. Incidence of contamination is low (probably somewhere between 1 in 6,000 and 1 in 20,000 per egg) and even then not all cases of contamination will turn into illness if the eggs and dough are refrigerated promptly and well and subsequently eaten by people with intact immune systems. I could think of many things more dangerous for the average person to do that no one really freaks out about.

                    But the simple fact that the few people here have never gotten sick and that sugar is bacteriostatic as a general kinda thing doesn't exactly mean there is no danger at all.

                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      All helpful to those of us reading along, cowboyardee. I'm impressed you read thru so much of the material. I was only referring to heat, not sugar. Raw dough is not heated and sugars are in raw dough.

                      I've eaten plenty of raw foods in my day to no ill effects but I believe people should decide that for themselves.

                      scroll down to More Prevention where cookie dough is included

                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        I could think of many things more dangerous for the average person to do that no one really freaks out about.

                        Word. Fear of raw cookie dough is one of the most tragic and ridiculous phobias ever propagated, IMO. Right up there with the one about stuff made with (jarred) mayo.

                2. re: sedimental

                  I just cooked a egg and i dont think it was fully cooked could I have salmanella?

                    1. re: Arianajones70897089

                      Probably not. Just listen to your body. If you, or anyone reading this reply and has eaten runny eggs (which I prefer and have NEVER gotten sick), just make an appointment with your PCP. People need to freaking lighten up and live a little!

                    1. All my life I have always eaten cookie dough, cake batter, brownie batter, muffin batter,....you name it! Never had a problem here although I probably just jinxed myself to be that 1/30,000! ;)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: junglekitte

                        There is another! I thought it was just me who loves raw batter although I add almost any dough to that mix as well. My friends think I'm weird but once something has been baked I lose interest. I'm convinced I'm immune to getting sick from it given I started with pastry scraps as a toddler.

                      2. I think of all my first cousins and I (who would garther at the cookie dough bowl), not one of us has given up this habit and some are of an age to have great grandchildren.

                        1. I believe the reason we were all told not to eat raw dough is because the uncooked flour can upset one's stomach. It wasn't about the raw eggs. So, it wasn't fear of food poisoning, but just not feeling well.

                          1. When I was in college in the 1960's we would go to the local grocery and buy a Keebler or whoever made those uncooked tubes of cookie dough, go back to the dorm and eat the whole thing raw. This was a bi weekly or so event. Never a problem. Of course mom's dough at home was best.

                            1. food poisoning... not to my knowledge. thank goodness!

                              as you say, eating too much of it, that's a whole 'nother story!!! <grin>

                              1. There was a food poisoning outbreak from packaged raw cookie dough a couple years ago, but in general, this goes to the issue of eating raw homemade cookie dough containing raw eggs.

                                The odds on food poisoning from raw eggs is actually quite low so the chances of getting sick are low from raw eggs.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: dave_c

                                  IIRC, the outbreak from packaged cookie dough was e coli, and ultimately traced to contaminated flour, so raw eggs weren't the culprit even then.

                                  1. re: mpjmph

                                    Flour... who woulda' thunk, but it makes sense since packaged cookie dough generally use pasteurized eggs.

                                  2. No, thank heavens. The main reason I like to bake is that I get to eat the cookie dough.

                                    1. I'll be the wet blanket.

                                      My cousin has had two bouts of salmonella poisoning, one of which was traced to eating raw cookie dough.

                                      He has no formal diagnosis of being immunocompromised, but is nevertheless a sickly guy.

                                      1. Not cookie dough, but over twenty years ago my daughter and I decided to bake a cake for little sister's 4th birthday since Daddy had said "she doesn't need a birthday cake." We made the cake from a boxed mix the evening before the birthday (which was also Christmas eve). We just licked the mixer beaters (one apiece) so we only ingested a very small amount. By morning we were both soooooo sick!!! No-one else in the house tasted the raw batter and no-one else got sick. Ugh, it was horrible. Santa Claus/Birthday Girl's Mom didn't have time for food poisoning and definitely didn't have time to also have a 6 year old suffering with it!! I never ever ever even taste anything with raw eggs in it now! Raw cookie dough is totally disgusting to me even though I ate it as a kid without any negative repercussions that I can remember.

                                        1. Not that I'm aware of. And raw cookie dough is an embarrassingly common snack in my house :-)

                                          1. it never happened to me, but then, this was between 1955 and 1970. I think the whole scare about raw eggs is much overblown. The statistics I see are that you might encounter one bad egg in 10,000.

                                            Hey, this was the most pessimistic statistic I have seen cited. Other places put the statistic at one egg in 40,000. Either way, what are the chances you are going to eat a salmonella infected egg raw? Remember, after they are cooked, it's irrelevant.

                                            I lived in Singapore for about a year in 1987-88, where restaurants routinely serve you a little dish containing a raw egg. You are supposed to crack the egg into the dish, add hot sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce or fish sauce, and chives. Then you mix the whole thing together with your chopsticks and use it as a dipping sauce for your meat. I never had any problems.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: gfr1111

                                              That sounds *soooo* good! I'm someone who regularly puts eggs on everything - rice, oatmeal, steak, toast - the runnier the better. Clearly I need to head to Singapore.

                                              (But I never eat raw cookie dough - I just don't like the flavour).

                                            2. The only time I have, was because I ate too much of it :) And it wasn't throw up sick or anything, just "OMG I feel like shit, why did I eat all that" sick.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                My mother used to try to scare us away from eating raw batters and dough by telling us it could make us sick, but it didn't slow my sister and I down any. Sure, it's possible that flour could contain insect eggs, and raw eggs could contain salmonella, but lettuce can be contaminated with E. Coli and we don't avoid it. Carrot juice from a certain company was recalled for a botulism scare, but few among us shy away from carrots or carrot juice because of that. Most of us only have a few nibbles or lick the bowls of our baking projects. Few power through the entire bowl of raw ingredients, not bothering to even bake the item(s).

                                                I've eaten raw fish, shellfish, horse and beef tartare, raw kibbee made from lamb, and even rare (freshly killed) chicken in a pho ga in Vietnam. I haven't ever been sick from any of them. I am firmly of the belief that a few licks of raw cookie, brownie or cake dough/batter, or a bite of raw pie crust can only make one's system stronger! ;-)

                                              2. I am one of the Hounds old enough to remember when you used to be able to get a raw egg blended into your Orange Julius in order to make it frothy and creamier.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                  I did this every morning as a teenager trying to gain weight (blended 4 raw eggs into my orange juice). No ill effects!

                                                2. Actually, as I'm writing this, I'm going through an awful bout of sickness. This is the second time in two weeks it's happened, both after eating packaged raw cookie dough (I never paid attention to the warning label because, really... No one does.) I came upon your question trying to find out if it really is cookie dough that's caused this - I'm pretty sure it is. I'm having severe chills and can't seem to stop shaking, and every twenty minutes or so I have to throw up again. I've been eating cookie dough my entire life and this has never happened, but just a warning to you: it does happen, I guess. I'll update if I find solid proof.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: AliceInOz

                                                    what you describe sounds an awful lot like the stomach bug that's going around here. my mother had it thanksgiving weekend. whatever it was/is. feel better soon!

                                                    1. re: AliceInOz

                                                      Sounds awful! But I would never eat factory-made raw dough just because it's industrial, and it's been sitting around in the packet for who knows how long before you buy it and cook it and carried around on trucks etc. The germies might have had time and ideal conditions to multiply and you'd never know it. I'm not worried about home-made dough though.

                                                      1. re: Kajikit

                                                        This is also why I don't eat ground beef out of a tube.

                                                    2. Just this past week-end my wife was "prepping" her cookie dough's for this holiday season and my son and I were dipping into her raw cookie dough as she yelled; "There's raw egg in there"........I'm still alive to sit here and respond to this.

                                                      Actually I have eaten more than my fair share of raw cookie dough as well as raw eggs themselves and have never, ever gotten sick from it.

                                                      On a side note I actually know someone who while intoxicated at a party had unprotected sex with the Pillsbury Dough boy. Nothing happened to them either, not even a yeast infection!

                                                      1. I once knew a guy who got sick from eating raw cookie dough. Then he put his eye out. Then his face stuck like that.

                                                        1. I have never been able to resist licking the bowl when I bake a cake (or sampling the cookie dough), and I have never in my 42 years of life, gotten sick from it... the odds have got to be remote. But I have a healthy immune system and I've only had food poisoning once or twice in my life. Some people get sick when they LOOK at food.

                                                          1. The only thing I've ever gotten from raw cookie dough was a set of wider hips. Seriously, I've consumed so much raw cookie dough over a lifetime that I'm most likely immune to any sort of salmonella. I haven't gotten it from steak tartare nor have I gotten it from egg nog.
                                                            Raw cookie dough is better than the baked cookies, IMHO!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: jarona

                                                              "Raw cookie dough is better than the baked cookies, IMHO"... reminded me of a recipe my mother used to have me make when I was a teen - rhubarb bread. I LOVED the batter, it was sweet and cinnamon-y but would not eat the bread because I just can't stand rhubarb. I loved to make that recipe for her tho, because I'd lick the beaters, and scrape the bowl! :)

                                                            2. Nope. In fact, when I made a birthday cake for one of my siblings recently, I put the bowl/beaters/spatula in the refrigerator & gave it to him as an early gift ;). He was quite pleased. So far, so good!

                                                              1. Not me- or anybody I've ever known about. And I sometimes buy a whole tube of store-bought to eat raw. I keep it in the freezer because I don't go through it that fast, but never, ever had any problem.

                                                                1. Yes, of course I have.

                                                                  1. Nope. We are a family of unrepentant dough/batter eaters, and we've never been noticeably ill from it. This includes both homemade and store-bought dough.

                                                                    1. No, never. But part of it is that I have a really strong immune/ digestive system. I LOVE raw cookie dough and will sometimes end up eating a whole hanful in one sitting. But one time, my friend did get sick from eating store-bought Nestle raw dough. Turns out their flour was contaminated Yeesh. My advice is its fine, but be careful.

                                                                      1. Doesn't salmonella live on the outside of the egg? So with the chances of contamination being so low, mixed with proper cracking ( no edges!), would nearly eliminate salmonella poisoning. More likely, as others stated, the uncooked flour. My husband, a trained pastry chef will eat raw egg and sugar (like meringues-, or mixes, icings, custards; and he does agree about the sugar and eggs mixed is a chemical reaction, which inhibits potential harmful bacteria) but will NOT consume once there is any flour.
                                                                        I always sneak some dough, but on rare occasion get a slightly upset tummy (but I have IBS, so I deserve it)!

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: liza219

                                                                          According to this site:


                                                                          salmonella can indeed be on the inside of an egg.

                                                                          Also, there is less likelihood that it will be on the shell, since the eggs are washed before going to the store.

                                                                          1. re: liza219

                                                                            There are criticisms of dough salmonella from both the raw egg and the raw flour. I've had nasty food poisoning a few times in my life, but never from eating cookie dough. It's no fun, and I'm careful about avoiding the causes: improper food storage (my fault), eating oysters in hot weather, and never ordering an egg-dipped Monte Cristo sandwich from a certain restaurant ever again.

                                                                          2. Baking cookies is an inferior method of preserving dough flavor IMO. The calorie content of the dough ball is increased by about 25% as the flour gelatinizes in cooking. The health food effect of the original dough - resistant starch in the uncooked flour - is ruined along with the flavor.

                                                                            I have never gotten sick in 60 years of eating cookie dough, but sooner or later there will be that first time. I have however gotten sicker than a dog eating baked cookies. They were healthy cookies with no preservatives, and they probably should not have been left in a hot glove compartment for a week before eating. But while there are warnings all over the place about eating dough balls, there are no warnings on proper cookie storage.

                                                                            1. Just the thought of eating raw cookie dough makes me sick. I tried it 1-2 times as a kid and was grossed out. It's RAW, as in unfinished.

                                                                              Others may like it, They are welcome to it, but not I.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: JMF

                                                                                I'm the same - it just doesn't taste good to me. I can't believe that anyone will pick cookie dough flavour ice cream when there are so many other wonderful flavours. I have the same problem with cold flour tortillas - they just taste unfinished to me. (Well, I prefer corn tortillas anyway).

                                                                                1. re: JMF

                                                                                  I don't have any desire to eat raw cookie dough, either. Raw flour doesn't taste good.

                                                                                2. There was an e coli outbreak in 2009 from packaged raw cookie dough. Many of the people who got sick bought it with the intention of eating it raw (!)

                                                                                  This NY Times article goes on to say the likely culprit wasn't the eggs (which were pasteurized) but the flour, the only truly raw ingredient. 13% of flour sampled for the study found e coli.


                                                                                  1. No I have never gotten sick (not that I did this recently). I think I felt a bit ill from raw biscuit dough, but cookie dough is always fine. I have also never gotten sick from eating too many gummy vitamins.. which I used to do sometimes.