On Eating Raw Cookie Dough and Other Dangerous Behaviors

Left: not to be eaten raw, and wash your hands after handling, please

I had to scratch my head as I read the news that Nestle’s Toll House Cookie Dough has returned to store shelves after a two-month recall. It seems that dozens of people became sick after eating the raw dough, which may or may not have been linked to a strain of E. coli.

In a supposedly enlightened era of food safety and health care awareness, the news that so many people continue to eat products containing raw egg astounds me. Do you ovophilial folks also like to run around playing Russian roulette with discarded hypodermic needles and rusty nails?

I mean, this is 2009, and there have been warnings about the dangers of eating such uncooked products for decades. Does Nestle really need to put a big, bold warning label on packages of cookie dough to discourage people from engaging in stupid behavior?

Apparently so.

I also know someone who is an educated health care professional, and this person enjoys eating raw ground beef. Yes, that same product known to be such a favorite vehicle for the transportation and incubation of the deadly E. coli 0157:H7 strain. I have pointed this out to my friend many times, yet she seemingly cannot refrain from popping a chunk of raw hamburger in her mouth when cooking.

Egads.

So to those who love eating raw and uncooked products known to carry illness-causing microbes, I have little sympathy when you inevitably wind up with a food-borne illness. Your dance with the culinary Fates is voluntary, and any cases of such diseases as salmonellosis you incur are completely preventable.

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