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Can You Eat Cookie Dough While Pregnant: A Comprehensive Guide

Can You Eat Cookie Dough While Pregnant

When it comes to diet, there are many dos and don’ts during pregnancy. One question that frequently comes up. Is eating cookie dough while pregnant is safe? Eating raw cookie dough has been a long-standing concern for pregnant women due to the risk of salmonella from raw eggs. However, a change occurred in October 2017, permitting the consumption of raw eggs during pregnancy. 

Cookie dough is a dessert that many people find impossible to resist because of its delicious flavor and sentimental charm. Nevertheless, a new safety concern now revolves around uncooked flour in raw cookie dough.

The UK Foods Standards Agency has also adopted this precaution. This is due to the growing concern that flour might potentially be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a recent advisory recommending that individuals, not limited to pregnant women, should avoid consuming items containing raw flour. 

Dr. James Smith, a knowledgeable general practitioner, explains that E. coli can lead to gastroenteritis, accompanied by bloody diarrhea, and a specific strain can result in kidney issues or failure. While E. coli infection during pregnancy is not associated with a higher risk of birth defects, it can cause problems like dehydration. In severe cases, it may lead to bleeding, miscarriage, premature labor, or stillbirth.

This article will examine the risks associated with eating cookie dough while pregnant as well as provide advice on how to enjoy it safely.

Whether you are pregnant or not, eating raw cookie dough raises concerns about contracting foodborne infections. Salmonella can contaminate raw eggs, a common ingredient in cookie dough, and this can result in symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. Although these symptoms are uncomfortable for anybody, pregnancy-related dehydration makes them more problematic.

The Dangers Of Raw Cookie Dough

The Concerns: Raw Eggs And Raw Flour 

Two potentially risky elements are found in cookie dough: raw eggs and raw flour.

Raw Egg:

Raw eggs can carry the risk of salmonella, a bacterium that can cause food poisoning. While the likelihood of contaminated eggs is relatively low, the consequences during pregnancy can be severe.

Raw Flour:

Raw flour can also be a source of foodborne illness, as it can be contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli. Using raw flour in recipes runs the danger of introducing viruses because flour isn’t processed to destroy them

The Role Of Pasteurization

Some commercial items, such as pre-packaged cookie dough, use pasteurized eggs and heat-treated flour to reduce these dangers, making them safe for consumption by everyone, including pregnant women. Pasteurization eliminates harmful microorganisms, lowering the possibility of contracting a foodborne illness.

Homemade vs. Store-Bought Dough:

Reputable brands of store-bought cookie dough frequently utilize pasteurized eggs, making them safe to eat uncooked. However, the risk is increased because handmade cookie dough recipes frequently call for raw eggs.

Homemade Precautions:

It’s crucial to take care when baking cookie dough at home to reduce the risks:

Use Pasteurized Eggs: To lessen the chance of consuming Salmonella-contaminated raw cookie dough, use pasteurized eggs.

Heat-Treat Flour: To heat-treat flour at home, simply bake it for around 5 minutes at 350°F (175°C). As a result, there may be less contamination with E. coli.

Choose Safe Substitutes: Look into edible cookie dough or eggless cookie dough recipes that do not call for raw eggs.

Bake the Cookies: Baking the cookies destroys any potentially hazardous bacteria present in the eggs and flour, making it the safest way to consume cookie batter.

If you’re craving cookie dough, think about giving in to safe substitutes like professionally made, pasteurized dough or no-bake recipes. Pregnancy cravings can be very strong.

Cookie Dough & Pregnancy Cravings

Safe Alternative

There are risk-free options that have the same decadent flavor if you’d like not to. There are recipes for edible cookie dough that don’t require eggs or heat-treated flour and can be consumed uncooked. A different option is to bake your cookie batter into cookies, which gets rid of the issues with the raw ingredients.

What Might Happen if You Consume Raw Flour While Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, eating raw flour has several dangers. Raw flour has not been pasteurized or heated in any way, making it not a food that is ready to consume. This indicates that it might be contaminated with dangerous pathogens like E. coli. Foodborne infections brought on by ingesting these germs can result in symptoms including diarrhea, cramping in the abdomen, and fever.

Consult a healthcare professional

It’s critical to speak with your healthcare professional about your nutrition during pregnancy. They can offer you individualized advice based on your unique dietary and health requirements. They can advise you on risk-free substitutions or ways to enjoy this delight without taking unneeded chances if you have any reservations about eating raw cookie dough. Keep in mind that throughout pregnancy, your health and safety—as well as that of your unborn child—are of the utmost importance.


While eating raw cookie dough during pregnancy may seem alluring, there are significant health dangers that come with using raw eggs and flour. Consider using pasteurized eggs, heat-treated flour, or investigate eggless, heat-treated cookie dough recipes to securely sate your sweet tooth. Always seek the best guidance on your particular pregnancy diet from your healthcare professional.


Reputable brands of store-bought cookie dough frequently utilize pasteurized eggs, making it safe to eat uncooked. But you must be sure it’s made with pasteurized eggs by reading the label.

Pregnancy is a time when cravings are typical, but there are secure alternatives. To sate your appetites, look for professionally prepared, pasteurized dough or investigate recipes for edible, eggless cookie dough.

Yes, there are no-bake cookie dough recipes that don’t call for the use of raw eggs, making them a safer option for expectant mothers. These recipes are commonly accessible online.

The best way to eat cookie dough is to purchase it commercially from reliable companies, check that the eggs are pasteurized, or look for no-bake cookie dough recipes that don’t utilize raw eggs.

Rose Smith
Rose Smith Writer, Pregnancy guide specialist Expertise Rose Smith is a dedicated and experienced writer, specializing in the field of Nursing and pregnancy guidelines. With a strong educational foundation, extensive experience, and a passion for supporting expectant parents, Rose has become a go-to source for reliable pregnancy advice and information. Experience Rose Smith's professional journey is marked by a wealth of experience: Authorship: Rose has authored numerous articles, essays, and books on pregnancy guidelines, all backed by her academic knowledge and practical insights. Pregnancy Workshops: She has conducted workshops and seminars, both online and in-person, providing expectant parents with practical tools and advice. Consulting: Rose has worked as a pregnancy consultant, offering personalized guidance to expectant mothers and couples. Media Contributions: Her expertise has been featured in various publications, including parenting magazines and health websites. Education Rose Smith holds a Master's degree in Nursing from Oxford University, where she laid the foundation for her expertise in maternal health, prenatal care, and pregnancy-related topics. Additional Certifications Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) Doula Certification: Doulas, who provide emotional and physical support during pregnancy and childbirth, often seek certification through organizations like DONA International. Childbirth Educator Certification. University Specialties As a proud alumna of Oxford University, Rose's areas of specialization include: Maternal Health: Her academic background has equipped her with a deep understanding of the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy and maternal well-being. Prenatal Care: Rose's education focused on the importance of proper prenatal care and its impact on a healthy pregnancy. Nutrition and Pregnancy: She has in-depth knowledge of nutrition during pregnancy and its role in fetal development.

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