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Is raw cookie dough one of your guilty pleasures? Beware flour recall

Is raw cookie dough one of your guilty pleasures? Do the kids love to lick the cake batter from the bowl and mixing spoons? Well you may want to re-consider giving in to these sweet temptations because of e.coli contamination!

What is E. coli?

This is a common bacteria that breeds on people and animals through their intestines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While this is not harmful, on many occasions it can be a harmful infectious strain and make us sick. Also referred to as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, these strains are normally contracted through contaminated food and water. If you are planning to make beef, it is important to have good knowledge about safe food handling to avoid any kind of spread of this E. coli bacterium.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a recall first on Robin Hood flour, however it has spread to other brands. The main concern with the recall is the consumption of the flour in its raw/uncooked state. As well as the spread of the pathogen in the flour to other surfaces and equipment in the kitchen

E.coli lives in the intestines of animals and humans. It is commonly associated with under-cooked beef, specifically ground beef it can also found in contaminated water. Its transmission can occur through improper cooking temperatures, cross contamination, poor hand hygiene and ill food handlers. So it
makes sense to take every possible step to avoid the spread of this bacteria so that you can ensure the healthy life of your loved ones. Comprehensive food safety training can help understand the best steps required to prevent e.coli contamination.

However in this case, it is possible for the soil to be contaminated by an infected animal or rodent that walks through a wheat field and defecates there. Additionally, manure is commonly used in enriching soil. E.coli would then be gathered up by a wheat harvester and spread throughout the harvested grain.

14 So how do you protect yourself, your family or your customers?

  1. If you still have the original packaging of your flour, check the CFIA website for exact codes to see if you are impacted by the recall.
  2. Cook food thoroughly and don’t consume raw batter/flour
  3. Ground beef must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160oF. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
  4. Clean and sanitize your kitchen equipment and surfaces after using flour
  5. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly

Apart from the above steps, it is important that you keep a separate cutting board for beef and other products so that there is no chance of cross-contamination. Separate plates and utensils should be used for cooked and raw foods.

Probe It Food Safety is a leading online platform where we offer the best offers food safety workshops and certification courses that can help you in preventing food-borne illnesses the spread of E. coli bacterium.

For more information on the recall visit http://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/newsroom/food-recall-warnings/complete-listing/2017-04-16/eng/1492408217395/1492408220892