People often understand the dangers of eating raw dough due to the presence of raw eggs and the associated risk with Salmonella.
But, did you know that raw flour can carry strains of E. coli? Yep! That’s right.
Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria. So if an animal relieves themselves in the field, bacteria from the animal waste could contaminate the grain, which is then harvested and milled into flour.
Pretty gross huh…
You may be wondering, but flour is used in all my baked goods. Well, yes. When you are making desserts that contain flour, they are usually consumed after undergoing high heats (i.e. baked in an oven), so at that point, all of the potentially harmful bacteria has been killed off.
However, this is not the case if you’re consuming raw cookie dough (don’t lie, we all do it).
It’s almost second nature to swipe a bit of dough from the bottom of the bowl when baking cookies or other treats. We’ve been told time and time again that this is an unsafe practice because of potential salmonella from raw eggs.
So why should you be concerned with eating flour? Well, it’s all because of the countless recipes that are floating around the internet for making Eggless Cookie Dough. Many recipes call for flour in their recipes, however, they don’t let you know about the potentially harmful bacteria that lingers in the raw flour.
So what should you do to prevent getting sick from eating raw flour? Toast It!
By toasting your flour, you kill any lingering bacteria, like E. coli, and add a delicious nutty flavor to your recipes from the toasting process. It’s really easy too.
Simply spread two cups of flour on a baking sheet or Silpat, and bake for about 5 minutes at 350° F. Let cool completely. Now you are allowing yourself to lick that batter bowl clean!
So, what are you waiting for? Turn on the oven and start toasting.