by Lori Wuellner
It’s tempting to lick the bowl or spoon after mixing up cookie dough or cake batter, but for safety sake don’t cave in.
Food safety experts have warned against eating raw dough when raw eggs are in the mixture, but now the flour itself may make us sick because of contamination with E. Coli.
Flour comes from grain that has not been treated to kill bacteria. It is a raw agricultural product that may have become contaminated from manure if animals do their business in the field and the bacteria remains after harvesting and milling.
Flour recently became identified as a potential source of contamination, especially when handling raw dough and not washing hands or by eating the raw dough.
Here’s additional safety tips to put into practice:
• Bake items made with raw dough or batter before eating them. Follow the recipe or instructions on the package.
• Do not eat any raw cookie dough, cake mix batter or any other raw dough or batter product that is supposed to be cooked or baked. Even a small amount could make you sick.
• Wash hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with flour and raw dough products with hot water and soap.
• Keep raw foods separate from other foods while preparing them to prevent any contamination. Be aware that flour may spread easily due to its powdery nature.
• Restaurants and child care facilities should not give people raw dough to play with or eat.
(Source: You Asked It, September 2016; Shawnee County Extension News)
Lori Wuellner is a Wyandotte County Extension agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, K-State Research and Extension, 1216 N. 79th St., Kansas City, Kan. Telephone 913-299-9300, email email@example.com.
The following recipe is a great snack for kids heading back to school. Remember, no sampling of the raw product. You’ll have to wait patiently until they are baked.
Chewy Oatmeal Bars
2 ¼ cups quick or long-cooking oats
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons margarine, softened
¼ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 8×8-inch pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir until well blended.
3. Press mixture into pan and bake 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to wash hands, work surfaces, bowls, and utensils carefully.
4. Cool 10 minutes, then cut into 16 bars. Let bars cool in pan before serving.
Note: If your family does not like raisins, use any combination of dates, cranberries, miniature chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, or chopped nuts. You can easily double this recipe using a 9×13-inch baking pan. Tightly wrap bars for a send-along healthy snack.
Nutrition Facts…Serving size- 1 bar; calories- 150; total fat- 4.5; sodium- 85 mg; total carbohydrates- 26g; dietary fiber- 2g; sugars- 15g; protein- 2g.