In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat raw cake batter?” with an in-depth analysis of risks associated with eating raw cake batter, germs present in raw cake batter and safe food handling practices while baking a cake.
Can you eat raw cake batter?
No, you can not eat raw cake batter. Eating raw cake batter is associated with a variety of infections and food poisoning as it may contain harmful microorganisms. Symptoms of food poisoning may range from mild to severe and may vary depending on the microorganism you ingested.
The ingredients used to make the cake batter such as uncooked eggs and flour consist of bacteria that are only killed when exposed to heat. That is why consuming raw cake batter is not considered safe to eat.
To ensure safe consumption, we should follow good hygiene practices within the home, by always washing our hands before and after handling food in the kitchen and making sure our food is cooked properly.
Risks associated with eating raw cake batter
A batter that contains raw eggs poses a risk of carrying Salmonellosis, an infection caused by Salmonella bacteria that can cause some harmful side effects that may not be worth that one bite of brownie batter.
The symptoms of Salmonella infections typically develop within 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the microorganism. Symptoms usually involve diarrhoea, fever, and stomach cramps. In some cases, the infection lasts from 4 to 7 days and people recover without using antibiotics.
Infection from Salmonella bacteria can be serious and is more vulnerable for infants, older adults of age 65 and above, and people who have underlying health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight diseases and infections.
E. coli food poisoning
It should be remembered that flour is made up of grains that are grown in fields. These grains can become contaminated with E. coli when animals urinate or defecate on these plants.
The American Food and Drug Administration has recommended people avoid eating raw batter, as it has a potential risk of causing E. coli food poisoning. Dozens of people have been infected with E.coli bacteria after eating or handling raw batter made from flour.
The symptoms associated with E. coli infections vary but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea which may be bloody, nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, sweating, fever, chills and in extreme cases, can lead to death.
People usually get sick 3 to 4 days after exposure to the bacteria. Most people get better within a week. However, some people develop a severe type of sickness called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can lead to stroke, kidney failure, and even death.
The E. coli bacteria can only be killed when exposed to heat while cooking, so cakes are perfectly safe to consume when they are baked properly.
Safe food handling practices
To reduce the risk of infection and to ensure safe consumption, you should follow safe food handling practices when baking and cooking with raw ingredients such as flour and eggs as mentioned below:
- Avoid tasting or eating any raw batter or dough, when making cake, cookies, tortillas, pizza, biscuits, pancakes, or crafts, prepared with raw flour, including homemade holiday ornaments or play dough.
- Keep raw dough away from your children and do not let them play with or eat raw dough, including dough for crafts.
- Never eat raw dough or batter, such as cookie dough or cake mixture, without baking or cooking.
- You must follow the recipe and package directions accurately to ensure cooking or baking at the proper temperature and for the stipulated time.
- Never make milkshakes with products containing raw flour, such as cake mix.
- Never use raw homemade cookie dough to make ice cream.
- The cookie dough ice cream that is sold in stores is composed of dough that has been treated to kill dangerous microorganisms.
- Store raw foods such as eggs or flour away from ready-to-eat food products. Since flour is in powdered form, it can spread easily.
- Always follow label directions to store products containing raw dough or eggs until they are cooked.
- Clean up the area thoroughly after handling flour, eggs, cake mix or raw dough:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with running tap water and soap after handling flour, raw eggs, or any surfaces they have been in contact with.
- Wash all the utensils, bowls, kitchen counters, and other surfaces with warm water and soap after handling raw flour and cake mix.
In this short article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat raw cake batter?” with an in-depth analysis of risks associated with eating raw cake batter, germs present in raw cake batter and safe food handling practices while baking a cake.