No More Scraping The Bowl When and If Baking With Grandchildren and Throw Away Your Flour

Gold Medal FlourGrandchildren love scraping the bowl of cookie dough or the like. They love it more than cleaning the bowl at the sink, although they could spend hours splashing water around “cleaning up” after baking. That is why we grandmas cover our floors and counters with old towels for easy cleanup. The grandchildren scraping the bowls was arguably cleanup, or that is how we rationalized it.

This Grandma worried about the raw eggs in the batter. I tried to limit the grandchildren to one finger full, worried as we have been made to by advertisement that eggs should be fully cooked when eaten. That is why, when I saw a blurb in the New York Times June 29, 2016, that Federal officials were warning against eating raw cookie dough, I just knew it was the eggs again.

I was wrong.

I clicked on the link and found. . .

The F.D.A. has issued a warning against eating raw cookie dough because of an outbreak of E. coli due to contaminated flour! It is in 20 states and since December. What has taken so long to get the news out? I would never have put flour together with E. coli. The source seems primarily to be cows defecating in grain fields. Yuck! Because flour is usually cooked, it was not considered a risk, it seems.

There is a recall of 10 million pounds of flour. Check your pantry for Gold Medal, Signature Kitchens and Gold Medal Wondra. Flour that is part of the recall was produced between November 14 and December 4, 2015 and should be thrown away. I went to my pantry and saw “sell by” dates but no production dates. I threw all the flour away.

Now, we are being advised to wash our hands thoroughly before and after using flour. We are being advised to wash all utensils and counters after using flour. Of course, we are advised against eating raw cookie dough or allowing children to do so. We are advised against making home made play dough.

What can happen?

“Symptoms of the bacterial infection include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Most people get better within a week, but in some cases, infections can lead to a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Those who are most vulnerable to severe illness include children under 5, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.”

We are being asked to report such symptoms after exposure. However, children often get “viruses” and it is hard for us to pinpoint the source, especially that which may have occurred months ago.

Now when the grandchildren want “cookie dough” ice cream, I may flinch, although we are assured processed foods kill bacteria. I thought processed foods kill us. Now we have to go to processed baked goods and ice cream to avoid another food danger.

I recently posted about Pillsbury and the Girl Scouts teaming up to make mixes for brownies and cupcakes flavored like thin mints and samoas. I have changed my mind. Better to buy Breyer’s ice cream in those two new flavors. It is confusing for us adults. Imagine how our grandchildren are going to feel. On my way to a bakery and ice cream section of the supermarket instead of baking for now.

This Grandma always likes making reservations better than cooking or baking anyway.





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