5 Warning Signs Your Cookie Dough Has Gone Bad

How to Tell If Cookie Dough Is Bad

Cookies are one of the most popular treats around the world. However, making cookies from scratch can be a time-consuming process, and many people opt for pre-made cookie dough instead. While pre-made cookie dough is convenient, it can go bad if not stored properly, and consuming it can lead to food poisoning. In this article, we’ll show you how to tell if cookie dough is bad and how to store it properly to extend its shelf life.

What is Cookie Dough?

Before we dive into the signs of bad cookie dough, let’s first understand what cookie dough is. Simply put, cookie dough is a mixture of flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and other ingredients that are combined to create a dough that can be baked into cookies.

Shelf Life of Cookie Dough

When it comes to the shelf life of cookie dough, the answer isn’t always straightforward. There are a few factors that can affect how long cookie dough can be stored. One important factor is the ingredients used in the dough. For example, if the dough contains perishable items like eggs or dairy products, it may not last as long as dough made with non-perishable ingredients.

Another factor that can affect the shelf life of cookie dough is the storage method. For best results, it’s recommended to store cookie dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. This will help to keep the dough fresh and prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from other foods.

Signs of Bad Cookie Dough

Now that we know what cookie dough is let’s discuss how to identify when it has gone bad. Here are some of the signs that your cookie dough may be spoiled:

  • Off-smell: If the dough smells sour or off, it may have spoiled.
  • Mold: If you notice mold on the surface of the dough or if it has a fuzzy texture, it has gone bad.
  • Change in texture: If the dough feels slimy or sticky, it may have gone bad.
  • Discoloration: If the dough has changed color or has dark spots, it may have gone bad.
  • Bubbles: If the dough has air bubbles or has expanded, it may be an indication that it has spoiled.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw the cookie dough away rather than risk getting sick from eating it. Consuming bad cookie dough can lead to food poisoning, which can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

How to Check If Cookie Dough is Bad

If you’re not sure whether your cookie dough has gone bad, there are a few things you can do to check:

  1. Examine the dough: Look for signs of mold, off-smell, or discoloration.
  2. Check the expiration date: If the dough is past its expiration date, it may have gone bad.
  3. Touch the dough: If the dough feels slimy or sticky, it may have gone bad.
  4. Smell the dough: If the dough has an off-smell, it may have gone bad.
  5. Taste a small amount: If you’re still not sure, taste a small amount of the dough. If it tastes off or has a strange texture, it has likely gone bad.

Health Risks of Eating Spoiled Cookie Dough

Eating spoiled cookie dough can pose a number of health risks. One of the biggest risks is food poisoning, which can be caused by bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. These bacteria can grow in the dough if it’s not stored properly or if it’s consumed past its expiration date. Symptoms of food poisoning can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, and in severe cases, it can even be life-threatening.

Another potential health risk of eating spoiled cookie dough is exposure to toxins. Mold, for example, can produce toxins that are harmful to humans. Consuming moldy dough can cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe, depending on the type of mold and the individual’s sensitivity to it.

Tips for Storing Cookie Dough

To avoid the health risks associated with spoiled cookie dough, it’s important to store it properly. Here are a few tips to help extend the shelf life of your dough:

  • Refrigerate or freeze the dough as soon as possible after making it. This will help to slow the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms.
  • Store the dough in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from other foods in the fridge or freezer.
  • Label the container with the date that the dough was made, so you can keep track of its expiration date.
  • If you’re planning to freeze the dough, divide it into portions that you can easily thaw and bake as needed.


Can You Get Sick from Eating Raw Cookie Dough?

Yes, consuming raw cookie dough can be harmful to your health. Raw cookie dough can contain harmful bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. It’s best to always bake your cookie dough before consuming it to avoid any health risks.

How Long Does Cookie Dough Last in the Fridge?

Most pre-made cookie dough can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator if stored properly in an airtight container. However, it’s always best to check the expiration date on the packaging to be sure.

Can You Freeze Cookie Dough?

Yes, you can freeze cookie dough to extend its shelf life. To freeze cookie dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. Frozen cookie dough can last up to three months in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake the dough, simply let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

What’s the Best Way to Store Cookie Dough?

The best way to store cookie dough is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help prevent the dough from drying out or absorbing any odors from other foods in the fridge. If you want to freeze the dough, make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container before freezing.


Cookie dough is a convenient and tasty treat, but it’s important to make sure it’s safe to eat. If you notice any signs of spoilage, it’s best to throw the dough away to avoid getting sick. By following these tips for storing and checking cookie dough, you can enjoy fresh and delicious cookies every time.

5 Warning Signs Your Cookie Dough Has Gone Bad

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