Can you get sick from eating expired dough?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired dough” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating a bad dough. Moreover, we are going to discuss the factors that affect the shelf life of dough and the tips to properly store dough.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating expired dough?

So when it comes to the cookie dough, raw eggs are present in its formulation and there is a risk of Salmonella and E.coli associated with the consumption of the expired cookie dough.

Devouring such cookie dough in which Salmonella and E.coli somehow found their way can result in food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and mild fever.

Moreover, if you notice molds in your dough, then it is better to discard such dough as molds can produce mycotoxins which on entering the body can disrupt your gut microflora thereby weakening your immune system.

Devouring a moldy dough can also result in respiratory problems and allergic reactions.

The same holds true in the case of expired or bacteria-laden pizza dough (especially the one containing eggs or milk), whose consumption can also result in food poisoning.

A mild food poisoning lasts for about a day or two while a more persistent case of food poisoning can last for about 10 days.

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered it. So consumption of expired or bacteria-laden dough often causes diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming bad dough is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is also accompanied by vomiting and nausea in most cases.
  1. If you have consumed dough that has bacterial growth on them then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.
  1. Consuming dough that has gone bad will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

So in case you have devoured bad dough and are now suffering from vomiting and diarrhea,  you should try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration that vomiting can otherwise result in.

It is worth mentioning that instead of the “expiration date”, you will find a “best by” or “best before date” written on the packet of dough. The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the pack of dough refers to quality rather than safety so the dough doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of the dough but you can still eat dough that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

Certain indicators point out a bad dough. You should consider the appearance, smell, texture, and color of your dough to reach a final verdict whether or not it has gone bad.


If you spot a mold or other organic growth in your dough then it is an indication that your dough has gone bad and it is better to discard it.

The presence of grey flakes or grey hints in the dough is the indication of dead yeast activators and it is better to toss out such dough. 

Moreover, if you see some whitish spots on the pizza dough or if there are some freezer crystals in the dough, they point toward the freezer burns and such pizza dough would have a change in its texture as well as flavor.



If the dough has dried up or it has a diminished texture then it is an indication that it is past its prime age.


If you notice a sour smell or some odd smell then it means that your dough has gone bad and you should discard it.


In the case of cookie dough, if you notice that the edges of your cookie dough have darkened then it means that the oxidation reactions have set in that can degrade the quality of your dough.

Other FAQs about Dough which you may be interested in.

How long does homemade cookie dough last in the fridge?

Factors affecting the shelf life of the dough

Several factors affect the shelf life of the dough.

  1. The preparation method of dough and the type of dough
  2. The quality of ingredients used to make the dough
  3. The amount of yeast added to the dough
  4. The temperature of the dough when it was stored in the refrigerator
  5. The duration for which the dough fermented before putting it in the fridge
  6. The temperature of the fridge and the storage conditions

Tips to properly store the dough

  1. You should store the dough in a greased air-tight container. The air-tight container will ensure that air won’t find its way to your dough, thereby preserving its freshness for a long time.
  1. Moreover, you should store your dough on one of the shelves of the refrigerator instead of the door. The reason behind this is that there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge.
  1. The dough should be stored on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator as it is the coldest part of the refrigerator and has its temperature between 38 °F to 40 °F.
  1. If you want to freeze the dough, it is better to store it in a plastic freezer bag or air-tight container. Moreover, for better protection, you can wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  1. When you want to use the frozen dough, it is recommended to let it thaw by leaving it in the fridge overnight.

You can read how to make cookie dough here.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired dough” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating a bad dough. Moreover, we discussed the factors that affect the shelf life of dough and the tips to properly store dough.