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Don’t dip your finger into that cookie batter!

Warnings against eating raw dough usually stem from concern about the uncooked eggs. But now there’s a new reason to worry: An E. coli outbreak linked to — of all things — contaminated flour has sickened 38 people in 20 states.


The flour, produced at the General Mills facility in Kansas City, Mo., has made 10 people sick enough that they needed to be hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The victims range in age from a 1-year-old to a 95-year-old. Some apparently got sick from tasting raw dough, according to General Mills.

The strain of E. coli responsible for the multistate outbreak can cause belly cramps, bloody diarrhea, and dehydration, especially in people with weakened immune systems and at the extremes of age. Symptoms usually develop three to four days after exposure to contaminated foods. The earliest infection in this outbreak traces back to Dec. 21, 2015.

General Mills has recalled more than 10 million pounds of flour as a precaution. The investigation is ongoing.