If licking the bowl is part of baking ritual, you might have to think twice before you do it from now on.
After raw eggs were declared safe, now there’s another ingredient that could give you more than you bargained for.
New advice from the UK’s Food Standards Agency says that uncooked flour can carry dangerous bugs like E. coli, and thus pose a risk of food poisoning.
The warning was first issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), after they found an E. coli outbreak in 2016 was linked to a batch of flour.
While there are currently no concerns about the flour being sold in the UK, the FSA is advising bakers to steer clear of uncooked flour, for fears that it could potentially be carrying a bug.
The bacteria that can cause infections and illness is killed when the flour is cooked, so baked goods would still be fine to eat even if the flour is contaminated.
If you’re baking chocolate chip cookies, don’t lick the mixing bowl
Shop-bought cookie dough can still be fine to eat as food manufacturers often use treated flour.
A spokesperson for the FSA said: ‘Whether it is safe to eat raw cookie dough would depend on the ingredients. However, we would advise that people should not eat raw cookie dough unless manufacturers’ instructions say that it is safe to do so, because dough is generally not intended to be eaten in that state and some ingredients may not be safe to eat without cooking.
‘It is always advisable to follow manufacturers’ instructions when using food ingredients.
‘While we are not aware of any particular current concerns in the UK with flour, we are aware that historical outbreaks of Salmonella and E.coli (in the US and New Zealand) have been linked with raw flour.
‘Therefore, we do not advise eating uncooked flour or products containing uncooked flour because there is potential for it to be contaminated. Adequate cooking will ensure any harmful bacteria are killed.’