The CDC is reminding holiday bakers that it’s gotten doubly dangerous to sneak a taste of raw cookie dough, cake batter, and other uncooked foods. While eggs have been a known risk for food poisoning for decades, in the last few years recalls have put flour into that category as well. If you want to avoid food poisoning from E. coli, salmonella and other potential pathogens this holiday season, wait until things are cooked before digging in.
Those with a healthy immune system or just a good dose of luck might not get sick, but that shouldn’t lull you into a false sense of security. Not only are both eggs and flour individual risk factors, but you shouldn’t ignore that recalls and food contamination have become a more frequent problem. You’re not just hearing about it more, and cases aren’t just being reported up the chain more—warmer temperatures and flaws in food processing have lead to increased bacterial growth in our food supply, so the risks are just higher now than they were a decade or two ago.
People with weakened immune systems—like the elderly, children, pregnant women, and people with chronic illnesses—are more likely to get sick from something, where as a healthy person might not notice their body fought off a pathogen. Even a healthy person having an off day might get sick. With health issues, there’s definitely an anecdotal trap that we fall into (thanks to thousands of years of humans watching each other eat food or and try new things to determine if it’s safe). Don’t fall into that trap, exercise caution—cook things as specified, clean any surface or tool used with raw foods—and keep enjoying the holidays.
If you don’t think you can help yourself or just want some extra defense for all the shared treats this holiday, be sure to support your beneficial gut flora with probiotics. Choose a quality supplement like Flora MGR with a high variety of live cultures.
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