A doctor who promised she wasn’t simply trying to be a ‘spoil sport’ has warned parents not to let their children lick the spoon while baking – and not just because of the raw egg. Dr Preeya Alexander posts as The Wholesome Doctor on Instagram, giving advice and debunking myths using her knowledge from working as a GP in Melbourne.
With many of us using our time in lockdown to try our hand at some homemade bakes, we all know the best part is licking the spoon after we’ve combined all the ingredients in a bowl.
But Dr Alexander has advised parents against letting little ones (or themselves) doing it, with a post titled ‘Why your kid shouldn’t lick the cake bowl’.
She said: “I know I know – some of you are going to wonder why on earth I would try and murder this age old tradition – please know I love cake and I love kids but licking cake bowls isn’t allowed in our house because it can be risky stuff (just read on; I promise, I’m not trying to be a spoil sport).”
The GP explained people often think the risk comes from consuming raw egg, which she said is an issue as it can lead to salmonella, which can cause significant abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
However, she said the ‘deal breaker many people don’t realise’ is that flour can harbour bacteria like E. coli. Flour is made from grain grown in fields, and animals can urinate or defecate on the plants, causing it to become contaminated with E. coli, she says.
The doctor wrote: “Heat and cooking the flour kills E.Coli. There have been E.Coli outbreaks linked to flour before – hence the recommendation is to cook flour before you eat it. Feel free to share and hurl ‘you hate cake, Preeya’ abuse (but I don’t – and if you have a piece of the stuff going around please send this way) but ideally, don’t lick the cake bowl. The last thing you want with your iso-creation is diarrhoea.”
One replied: “I learned the hard way that flour is a raw food just recently!” Another commented: “Had no idea! Have been a cake batter licker since childhood and never had an issue to my knowledge, but will cease and desist!”