Doesn't the definition of "dough" imply that the food is raw? After cooking the food it doesn't seem like it would still be dough.

I ask because I always see "Don't eat raw cookie dough" on packages at the store.

  • 2
    In that case I don’t think it’s redundant. It means don’t eat this right out of the package- bake it first. If ”raw” wasn’t there it would just say, “don’t eat cookie dough” and I’d think to myself. ‘if I can’t eat it then why am I buying it at all??”
    – Jim
    Oct 29, 2015 at 1:41
  • Hey, that didn't occur to me. I think 'raw' here IS redundant but is used to emphasise how bad dough is for you (triggering, as it does for me, associations with raw meat).
    – Dan
    Oct 29, 2015 at 1:43
  • Assuming it is redundant, so what?
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 29, 2015 at 1:52
  • Not redundant but misplaced: Don't eat cookie dough raw. Oct 29, 2015 at 16:09

2 Answers 2


It does seem redundant because dough means a mix of ingredients (usually flour-based) that hasn't been baked, and if it's not cooked, it would seem raw is the appropriate word. But apparently, unbaked cookie dough is irresistible enough that dozens of people in the US alone are sickened every year. Eggs are usually blamed for Salmonella poisoning, but flour harbors E. coli.

Some food manufacturers that sell cookie dough have taken to heating their ingredients before manufacture — pasteurizing eggs, heat-treating flour — so as to make their unbaked dough safe to eat. Raw cookie dough would then be dough containing raw ingredients, i.e., those without the pre-treatment. The other kind alleviates the dangers in the lack of self-control that prevents you from waiting 15 minutes. Twenty if you forgot to preheat the oven.

You may check the not-so-yummy details here.

  • Can't dough be used as a general name for food made from dough? E.g. Because of a disease, I cannot digest dough. I wouldn't assume the person only meant raw dough.
    – Flater
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:37
  • Dough isn't necessarily baked. It is a precursor to pasta, which is usually boiled, and to tortillas, which are griddled. And cookie dough, like cake batter, is sometimes eaten directly as you note (or used in raw form in other dishes). But more to the point, dough at the county fair 'round these parts means fried dough (or fry dough or frybread), so if there's a fried version, there must be a raw version in people's minds.
    – choster
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:39

Dough is dough until it is baked. There are degrees of doneness, and thus rawness.

Raw dough emphasizes the rawness -- very raw or, more particularly, completely raw, i.e., completely uncooked.

An admonition not to eat raw dough suggests that the rawer the dough, the more important the warning. Not such a bad thing to eat partly cooked dough, presumably.

  • 1
    Kind of a half-baked answer. ;)
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 29, 2015 at 6:48
  • @HotLicks: Exactly.
    – Drew
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:09

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