Can cookie dough go bad?

With the holiday season almost here, the grinch is about warning of the danger of eating raw cookie dough. At some point, we have all done it. We licked the spoon of this delectable sweet dough in anticipation of some tasty cookies. But could this gorgeous dough be dangerous for you to eat?

Most of you know that eggs can carry salmonella, but did you know that flour carries E.coli?Flour is a grain, and animals in the grain fields can contaminate the grains. The flour is unsafe to eat until its heat treated or cooked!

This article looks at cookie dough, if it can go bad, and how long it can be kept safely at home before cooking. We answer frequently asked questions that will enhance your culinary expertise.

Let’s get into it.

Does cookie dough expire?

Cookie dough does expire; it has eggs, so the shelf life is relatively short. If you have store-bought cookie dough, you can expect it to store in the fridge for up to two weeks. The cookie dough will turn sour and become inedible any longer than this.

If stowed correctly in the fridge, the homemade cookie dough will last up to 5 days, but you need to keep an eye on it. Store homemade dough and store-bought dough in the rear of the fridge where the temperature is the coolest, and there is less exposure to moisture.

If the cookie dough from the store is open, it must be stored in an airtight container, the same as homemade cookie dough.

Cookie dough is susceptible to salmonella and e.coli, so don’t be tempted to stick raw cookie dough in your ice cream or take a liking to the spoon or stick your finger in for that sweet dough. You could end up in the emergency room just in time for the holidays.

Does it make a difference if cookie dough is covered?

Yes. We are surrounded by bacteria, some that do us no harm and some that can almost kill or make you severely sick.

Covering the cookie dough prevents bacteria in the air from landing on the cookie dough (the cookie dough has bacteria). Even in the fridge, the cookie dough will be susceptible to bacteria, and the bacteria can spread from the cookie dough to your other refrigerated products.

If cookie dough is left uncovered in the open for two hours, it is declared unfit for consumption by the USDA. The bacteria growth in and out of the fridge can accelerate exponentially, making the dough a recipe for food poisoning.

Store cookie dough in an airtight container if the pack has been opened from the store, and if you have homemade cookie dough. It must be covered and chilled.

Does cookie dough go bad if left out?

Yes. Leaving cookie dough on the side is perilous. It may seem like a strong word to use, but the consequences are potentially devastating if you leave cookie dough on the side.

According to the USDA, perishable food left out for more than two hours is dangerous to consume. The level of bacteria will grow exponentially. It could cause severe food poisoning.

Food poisoning can be life-threatening in some people as complications set in.

If your cookie dough has been sitting out for two hours, throw it away and start again.

Does unopened cookie dough go bad?

Yes. Unopened cookie dough can last about two weeks past its expiry date. After that, it should be thrown away. Cookie dough contains eggs, which can be problematic when mixed in dough if not stored chilled.

If the flour in cookie dough has not been treated by heat, it also can contain E.coli. It’s not fun to have at any time of the year, let alone close to the holiday season.

Unopened cookie dough containers will likely start to expand when the product goes bad. Its gasses are released as a cause of bacteria growth in the product. The container may explode, leaving you with a doughy mess to clean up that no longer smells sweet.

Dough that has gone bad will smell sour and have a color change. It could also be slimy. If you have any of these indications, the dough should be in the garbage.

How long does cookie dough last in the fridge?

Two weeks. Cookie dough does not have a long shelf life. It contains eggs notorious for their short shelf life once mixed in the dough. The dough will be at its best after two days of purchasing it from the grocery store.

Cookie dough will have an expiry date. The expiry date does not mean the product is bad. It means the contents are at their peak quality until this date and after will degrade. It is suggested that cookie dough will last two weeks past the expiry date.

Does frozen cookie dough go bad?

In theory, any frozen product stored at 0℉ or below has an indefinite shelf lie, But the truth is frozen products do go bad in the freezer, not in a rotten way but in the way that they lose texture and flavor.

Cookie dough is ideal for freezing and lasts for up to three months without any degradation to the dough. It’s best to make small batches of cookie dough instead of freezing one big ball of dough.

Freezing dough in batches is easier for portion control and thawing.

Can homemade cookie dough go bad in the fridge?

Yes, homemade cookie dough has a short shelf life, but it’s longer than you think if you store the homemade cookie dough carefully.

Homemade cookie dough will last for five days if stored in an airtight container at the back of the fridge, where it is the coolest.

However, checking the freshness of your eggs will be somewhat crucial in the process. Broad sweeping statements assume that the eggs are fresh.

Can refrigerated cookie dough go bad?

Yes, the average temperature of your fridge is 40℉ its cool enough to ward off some bacteria. But it’s not quite cold enough to extend the life of cookie dough beyond two weeks if sealed in an airtight container.

The ingredients of cookie dough contain eggs and flour. Both of these components can carry harmful bacteria like salmonella and E.coli.

After two weeks, throw the cookie dough in the garbage if it has been stirred in the fridge.

When bringing home cookie dough from the store, can it go bad?

It depends on how far the store is from your home, but in general, the cookie dough will not go bad within a few hours, even if it has been sitting in a car baking in the sun for a few hours.

However, you should palace cookie dough in the fridge as soon as possible if you wish to keep it for a couple of weeks.

It is worth checking how fresh your cookie dough actually is by checking the expiration date on the packaging. It would be best if you also looked for telltale signs that the cookie dough in the store may be close to expiry.

Don’t buy expanded tubes of cookie dough. The expansion results from gasses being released from bacteria growth in the product.

Split tubes or cookie dough tubes showing signs of leakage should be left behind for the grocery store to deal with.

Smell the tube of cookie dough. It should not be tainted with any other smell; it is bad if you detect a sour smell.

In addition, when you open cookie dough, it should open with a pop and spurt dough out. The dough is bad if it does.

Cookie dough variation

Can vegan cookie dough go bad?

Vegan cookie dough uses gluten-free flour, and the shelf life is pretty much the same as regular cookie dough. It will last for one week in the fridge and two months in the freezer without degradation to the product.

Can you eat vegan raw cookie dough?

Vegan cookie dough does not contain eggs but not so fast because flour can contain E.coli. If you intend to indulge in eating raw cookie dough, you can place the flour in a microwave and heat it to 160℉, and this will kill the E.coli bacteria.

To make vegan cookie dough, use gluten-free flour and 1-1 baking powder. This should give you an appropriate mix.

You can buy vegan cookie dough from the store, but it is pretty easy to make, and you are 100% sure of the ingredients used.

Final thoughts

Cookie dough can be a ticking time bomb if cooked after a few days of purchase.

Keeping cookie dough in the fridge can be done if the dough is stored in an airtight container, and even then, you should check daily to see if the dough is fit for consumption.

Freezing cookie dough is the best way to store cookie dough. You can keep cookie dough in the freezer for three months without degrading the texture or flavor. And small batches thaw quickly. Make batches and place them in Ziploc bags in an airtight container.

Dont eat raw cookie dough. Even if it smells and tastes delicious, it could make you very sick.

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