December 13, 2011 | 9:28am
The holidays typically mean baking cookies, and baking cookies typically means tasting a dollop (or eight) of raw cookie dough before it reaches the oven.
A new study
confirms what Mom's been telling us for years: That stuff can make you sick.
Remember the E. coli outbreak of 2009 that was traced back to Nestlé Toll House cookie dough? Researchers investigated the possible causes of contamination, and found that flour -- not eggs, which are pasteurized -- is the most likely culprit.
Flour seems as bland and benign as could be, but it's still a raw agricultural product. That means it has had ample opportunity to be exposed to dirt, animal feces, and other unpleasant substances between field and grocery store shelf.
More food that touches poo. Great.
After a second batch of contaminated dough was found last year, Nestle announced that it would start heat-treating the flour it uses in refrigerated cookie dough. Still, as an extra precaution, heat those cookies up. And for the best Toll House variation ever, check out this post by Dave