Turns out your mom was right—you shouldn’t be eating raw cookie dough.
The Food and Drug Administration just released a warning to Americans—even if the dough doesn’t have the raw eggs traditionally linked to salmonella. That’s because of recent outbreaks in E. coli which have been linked to contaminated flour.
So far 38 people in 20 states have been infected with the E. coli strain linked to flour, according to the New York Times. No deaths have been reported, but 10 people have been hospitalized. Most of those infected are expected to get better within a week, but the Times notes that the infection could cause a type of kidney failure.
Investigations traced the outbreak to flour produced at a General Mills (GIS) facility in Kansas City, Mo. in November 2015.
If you cook the flour before eating it, the pathogens will be killed, meaning that as long as you cook your cookies or put your pancakes on the griddle, you’re safe. Sadly, though, it does mean you can’t lick the beaters from your brownie mix or scrape out the bottom of the bowl. And you especially shouldn’t let your kids do it, because children under five are among the most at-risk populations, along with older adults and those with immune system issues.