Papa Murphy's Cookie Dough Under Investigation For Salmonella Outbreak

Between February 27 and May 2, 2023, 18 cases of Salmonella infection have been confirmed through public health authorities across six states, the CDC reported on May 23. The federal and state outbreak investigations revealed that at least half of those report eating raw cookie dough from the quick-service pizza chain Papa Murphy's in the days prior to the onset of symptoms.

Five to six cases occurred in Washington, three to four in both Oregon and Idaho, and a handful of others in California, Utah, and Missouri. The strains in Washington and Oregon are identical, and in all but two of the cases there, those affected claim to have eaten Papa Murphy's products the week prior. Other states haven't yet released information regarding this strain or indicated any connection to Papa Murphy's products. Nevertheless, the chain has stopped selling its raw chocolate chip cookie dough and s'mores bars cookie dough pending further investigation. The investigation aims to discover, among other things, which ingredient harbored the bacteria. Assuming these pulled items are responsible for the outbreak, it's still not known whether the dough was made in-house or came from an outside supplier.

In addition to Papa Murphy's cooked menu items, the chain is known for its line of Take 'N' Bake offerings, including pizza dough and cookie dough. Sold ready-to-bake, they are intended to be cooked thoroughly before being consumed. Usually, through an egg or flour contaminationeating cookie dough raw is one of the most common ways Salmonella is contracted. 

Further investigation is needed to determine the extent of the outbreak

Of the 18 people affected by the outbreak, two have been hospitalized, according to the CDC. However, Salmonella symptoms are not typically severe or life-threatening. Those for whom the infection causes only minor intestinal distress or other discomfort may not necessarily seek medical care nor, make their situation known to public health authorities. This, of course, makes it difficult for authorities to say exactly how many may have actually been affected by this outbreak. If the spread of infection is, in fact, a result of Papa Murphy's raw cookie doughs, future infections are possible, as it may have been freezer stored, which according to the CDC, will not kill Salmonella bacteria — only cooking it thoroughly does so. 

If there's any chance you have any of Papa Murphy's chocolate chip or s'mores bars cookie dough in your freezer, the CDC urges you to discard it and wash anything that might have come into contact with it with soap. Salmonella infection causes gastrointestinal symptoms and, possibly, fever. Symptoms typically present within six days of exposure and signs of severe illness include fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit, bloody diarrhea, and dehydration. Anyone with signs of severe illness is also urged by the CDC to seek immediate medical attention.

To safely enjoy raw cookie dough, you can try our Edible Cookie Dough Recipe.