Risk of salmonella worries cookie dough lovers

March 16, 2009 — by Annie Lee

Hundreds of boxes of fundraising peanut butter cookie dough for the school’s music department have been recalled because of the possible risk of salmonella infection in late January. However, although the company offered to collect the boxes of cookie dough as a precaution, no boxes of cookie dough have been turned in, according to the music department.

The cookie dough, which was sold to many students, teachers and parents as a way for the music department to raise money for their upcoming tour to Europe, was manufactured by Dough To Go, a company that had a batch of peanut butter contaminated with bacteria that cause salmonella. However, the peanut butter that was incorporated into the fundraising cookie dough was from a different batch of peanut butter, hence running an extremely low risk of containing the bacteria, said music director Michael Boitz.

“I think every time there’s a health concern, it worries people, particularly with so much in the news about lead paint and this kind of food and that kind of food, so of course it’s better safe than sorry,” said Boitz.

Although the risk of Salmonella contaminated peanut butter cookie dough may have worried many bakers and cookie lovers around campus and the neighborhood, the act of baking eradicates the possibility that the dough would make people sick. Salmonella bacteria is killed at any temperature above 105 degrees and on the box of the cookie dough, the instructions suggest that customers bake at approximately 350 degrees, well over the maximum tolerable temperature of any strain of Salmonella bacteria.

“Bottom line is if anybody has cookie dough, you just bake it. Don’t eat it raw,” said Boitz.
So far, no cases of infection have been reported.

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