Leave it to the grinches at the CDC to lay down the law on eating cookie dough just before Christmas.
The federal health agency shared a stern warning to everyone who likes to lick the spoon while baking Christmas cookies: put, it, down.
Their new memo, titled "Say No to Raw Dough!" highlights the serious risks of enjoying cookies or cake mixes before they're fully baked.
"When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully cooked," the statement read.
"But steer clear of this temptation "” eating or tasting unbaked products that are intended to be cooked, such as dough or batter, can make you sick."
They went on to explain that raw dough contains flour (of course) and eggs, both of which could be carrying viruses salmonella or E. coli. Until the cookies have been baked, the risk of getting sick from the raw ingredients is just too high to take the chance.
The agency even advised against touching raw dough, or letting young children use it in art projects like "play clay."
And in case you're still not taking their advice seriously, here's a scary tidbit straight from the CDC:
"In 2016, an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to raw flour made 63 people sick."
Another 30 deaths are linked to E. coli each year, according to the agency.
E. coli and salmonella can both cause diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and stomach pain. In rare cases, infections and other complications related to these viruses can even be fatal.
Other important baking safety tips include keeping flour and eggs separate from other ingredients, and avoiding recipes that mix raw cookie dough into cakes, pie, ice cream, etc.
If you need a silver lining to lift your spirits after that cookie dough crackdown, here it is: edible cookie dough and treats like cookie dough ice cream sold in stores have been specially treated, so you can enjoy as much as you want without fear of getting sick.