With the American holiday season in full swing, health officials are once again reminding people to resist the urge to lick cake batter bowls, nibble on raw bread dough and to refuse any offers of raw play dough in restaurants.
The problem isn’t just the various serotypes of Salmonella bacteria that has scared so many people away from raw eggs, say health experts. There is also potential for raw flour to be contaminated with potentially deadly strains of bacteria like E. coli.
This morning the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, issued a formal Consumer Update, reminding people of the potential dangers. Authored by Jenny Scott, who is a senior advisor in the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the statement brought up the 2016 E. coli outbreak that sickened dozens of people and necessitated the recall of millions of pounds of contaminated flour.
Flour, reminds Scott, is not normally treated to kill the bacteria which can be found in animal feces and manure. And those bacteria do survive the milling process.
Protecting Your Family From Flour-Borne Germs
There are several things to think about when it comes to protecting yourself and your family, say doctors. Some of those include suggestions like:
- Do not lick cake batter bowls or utensils – and don’t allow your children to do so, either.
- Do not eat raw cookie or bread dough or give it to your children.
- Do not add raw cookie dough to uncooked foods like homemade ice cream.
- Do not allow your children to play with homemade play doughs or clays made with raw flour.
- Inform your child’s teachers and caregivers that such doughs and clays are discouraged by health officials.
- Turn down offers of play doughs in restaurants.