Shut Up and Eat That Raw Cookie Dough
LV Anderson explains why it probably won't give you salmonella
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2014 2:36 PM CST

(Newser) – Despite oft-heard and dire warnings from your mother about why you shouldn't eat raw cookie dough, admit it—you eat it anyway, and you've probably never gotten salmonella poisoning. In Slate, LV Anderson explains why. By her own estimation she's probably consumed 360 raw eggs over the course of her life, thanks to a love of baking and the inevitable batter-licking that follows. Yet she's never gotten sick from it, because the truth is that "salmonella in eggs has always been rare, and it’s gotten even rarer since I was a kid" in the 1990s, she writes.

In the mid- to late 1980s, tainted eggs killed dozens in the US—but those outbreaks prompted egg producers to voluntarily institute new safety protocols that were incredibly successful, and later, federal restrictions got tighter, too. Plus, even infected hens only rarely produce infected eggs, and that fear about an eggshell possibly being contaminated with salmonella? "Unfounded." Last but not least, most home consumers keep their eggs constantly refrigerated, thus preventing any salmonella bacteria from growing—so on the extremely slim chance that an infected egg did get into your batter, it's highly unlikely the raw portion that ends up in your mouth would have any bacteria in it. And if it does? As long as you're healthy, there's a decent chance you won't get sick anyway. Click for Anderson's full column.

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Showing 3 of 35 comments
Mar 8, 2014 1:15 AM CST
LV Anderson wouldn't know a C.F.U. from an E.C.U. This is a scary trend with publications hiring people with no professional background to write articles that contradict common sanitation and medical practices that are based on actual research and epidemiology.
Mar 7, 2014 6:53 PM CST
Good news for any one who would like to make their own mayo!
Mar 7, 2014 7:29 AM CST
My German maternal grandfather's favorite beverage was a warm beer with a raw egg. He lived to be 83 before he passed (and his death wasn't from eating raw eggs).