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Put down that cake batter: Uncooked flour may have E. coli

Posted at 4:44 PM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 16:45:43-05

If you're planning on baking cookies this holiday season, resist tasting the raw cookie dough. A recent study has found a key ingredient could be carrying E. coli.

A new study looked carefully into a 2016 E. coli outbreak where 63 cases were reported and 17 people were hospitalized. 

Tests confirmed that certain brands of flour were contaminated. The concern now is that E. coli in raw flour may be more common than previously believed.

Evidence shows that even though raw flour is a low moisture food, it can still carry it.

Flour comes from a grain which is grown in fields. 

These crops are not typically treated to kill bacteria so if animal feces is present, it gets harvested along with the grain and made into flour. 

So proper cooking methods are important to follow as they kill bacteria in foods.

E. coli can also be found in other foods too so here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX

1. Avoid unpasteurized foods like milk, juice and soft cheeses. They’re too high-risk.

2. Cook meats to the right temperatures, especially ground beef. Be sure to use a food thermometer.

3. Use safe cooking methods like roasting, frying and baking. Be sure to wash your hands after baking or preparing foods. 

4. Don’t eat cake mix or any batter product that should be cooked or baked. And always follow package directions. 

Most people get stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. A life-threatening form of kidney failure can develop called hemolytic uremic syndrome - young kids and older adults need to watch out for it.  But for most healthy adults, they’ll recover from E. coli typically within a week.