Is it safe for children to eat raw cookie dough?

Dec 20, 2017

Health authorities and food producers recommend against it, but it’s unclear how much of a risk it poses.

Eating raw cookie dough, with eggs that haven’t been pasteurized or flour that hasn’t been heat-treated, has infected people in the past with E. coli and Salmonella. Both bacterial infections are typically painful but only temporary, although they can be fatal to people with weak immune systems.

However, there are few statistics available about how often these infections occur, and whether it’s significantly more likely than infection from other foods.

Why do different sources disagree about whether parents can feed their kids raw cookie dough?

Because new research is still coming out about how dangerous the ingredients in cookie dough can be, and some people’s personal philosophies are that the taste of raw cookie dough is worth the risk.

Health authorities, like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strictly advise parents to never feed their children raw cookie dough. Some people believe those prohibitions exaggerate the risk.

We have reviewed dozens of trustworthy sources online and haven’t found any statistics to actually quantify what the risk is, and whether it’s dramatically more or less dangerous than other activities. We are continuing to conduct research to try and provide a clearer answer.

Why should I trust you?

Our articles are short and direct so parents can quickly get the answers they need, but there’s lengthy research behind everything we publish. If you’d like to check our facts and learn more, here are the best sources we found and used for this article:

Was this helpful?

Please share to help other parents find accurate answers.