Listen 4 min Comment on this story Leave a Comment Share a Gift Article Raw cookie dough seems like an irresistible temptation to many people. Whether they take a piece from the mixing bowl, lick the spoon used to spoon it, or even bite into a store-bought roll directly - they can't help but ignore health officials' warnings not to eat it. A salmonella outbreak linked to raw cookie dough has sickened at least 18 people in six states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two people were hospitalized. Nine of them reported eating raw cookie dough from Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza, which has franchises across the country. Amid an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration, the pizza chain said it had stopped selling take-and-bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and S'mores Bar, and health officials said customers who bought these products should throw them away. The CDC regularly warns people to stop eating raw dough, but admits it's a hard sell. "When making cookies, muffins, muffins, or bread, you may want to taste a bite before it's fully baked," says the CDC. "But you can get sick after eating or tasting raw dough or dough." Emily Nejad, owner of Bon Vivant Cakes, a cake and cookie decorating school in Chicago, understands attraction. “The temptation to eat raw cookie dough is all about texture,” she said. "People love texture and variety, and cookie dough is the perfect blend of something soft, creamy, and chewy." Still, she wonders if this has anything to do with nostalgia. “It takes me back to your fifth grade nights when you didn't sleep, drank soda, watched teen movies, and went to town with packets of cookie dough and marshmallows,” she said. Nejad said he prefers crispy cookies fresh out of the oven, but sampled a small amount of raw cookie dough. “If you're a chef, cooking for people, that's part of the job,” she said. Nejad said there are ways for fans of cookie dough to reduce their risk of contracting foodborne illnesses, such as making cookie dough using heat-treated flour and not using eggs. The Washington Post has a recipe. Why raw cookie dough can be unsafe A 2010 survey by the Harvard School of Public Health said that while 20 percent of Americans say they "frequently" eat products that may contain raw eggs, such as raw cookie dough, hollandaise sauce, Caesar salad dressing, or mayonnaise, 50 percent say so. they did this from time to time. The potential problem with raw cookie dough is its two main ingredients. Raw flour can be contaminated with Escherichia coli and salmonella, and unpasteurized eggs have also been a carrier of salmonella. Both bacteria are killed in the cooking process, according to the CDC, but uncooked or undercooked contaminated food is known to make people sick. Lindsay Malone, a dietitian, said these two bacteria are in the top five for causing foodborne illness in the United States. Christine Lee, a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic, said Salmonella specifically "can infect the intestinal lining and cause infectious colitis, which manifests clinically as diarrhea." The amount of food matters—those who consume larger amounts of contaminated food have a higher risk of infection, Lee said. But it's best to avoid eating raw cookie dough, she said. Experts estimate that those with compromised immune systems are at highest risk for serious foodborne illness, affecting 1 in 6 people each year in the United States, the CDC says. Symptoms of some foodborne illnesses Symptoms from E. coli infection typically appear within a few days and can include severe stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting; The symptoms of a salmonella infection are similar but can also include fever, according to the CDC. With both diseases, patients usually recover in less than a week – but people with diarrhea that doesn't improve after three days, bloody stools, or signs of dehydration should seek medical attention. providers, said the CDC. Antibiotics are used to treat serious diseases. To avoid potential infection, the CDC recommends not eating raw cookie dough or cake batter, but commercial cookie dough ice cream is generally safe, according to the FDA. Ben & Jerry's, for example, uses heat-treated flour and pasteurized eggs in its cookie dough ice cream to protect against bacterial contamination. Even if people don't taste raw cookie dough, they should wash their hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water when working with raw eggs and flour, and clean all work surfaces, dishes, and utensils, the CDC says. GiftOutline Gift Article