There are many special occasions through the year that are perfect to spend time with loved ones while preparing delicious baked foods in the kitchen. Follow these safety tips to help you and your loved ones stay healthy when handling raw dough.

When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully cooked. But steer clear of this temptation—eating or tasting unbaked products that are intended to be cooked, such as dough or batter, can make you sick. Children can get sick from handling or eating raw dough used for crafts or play clay, too.

Raw Dough Can Contain Bacteria That Cause Disease

Flour is typically a raw agricultural product. This means it hasn’t been treated to kill germs like Escherichia coli (E. coli). Harmful germs can contaminate grain while it’s still in the field or at other steps as flour is produced. The bacteria are killed when food made with flour is cooked. This is why you should never taste or eat raw dough or batter—whether made from recalled flour or any other flour. In 2016, an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to raw flour made 63 people sick. Flour products have long shelf lives and could be in people’s homes for a long time. If you have any recalled flour products in your home, throw them away.

In addition, raw eggs that are used to make raw dough or batter can contain a germ called Salmonella that can make you sick if the eggs are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Eggs are safe to eat when cooked and handled properly.

Eating uncooked flour or raw eggs can make you sick. Don’t taste or eat raw dough!

Follow safe food handling practices when you are baking and cooking with flour and other raw ingredients:

  • Do not taste or eat any raw dough or batter, whether for cookies, tortillas, pizza, biscuits, pancakes, or crafts made with raw flour, such as homemade play dough or holiday ornaments.
  • Do not let children play with or eat raw dough, including dough for crafts.
  • Bake or cook raw dough and batter, such as cookie dough and cake mix, before eating.
  • Follow the recipe or package directions for cooking or baking at the proper temperature and for the specified time.
  • Do not make milkshakes with products that contain raw flour, such as cake mix.
  • Do not use raw, homemade cookie dough in ice cream.
    • Cookie dough ice cream sold in stores contains dough that has been treated to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Keep raw foods such as flour or eggs separate from ready-to eat-foods. Because flour is a powder, it can spread easily.
  • Follow label directions to refrigerate products containing raw dough or eggs until they are cooked.
  • Clean up thoroughly after handling flour, eggs, or raw dough:
    • Wash your hands with running water and soap after handling flour, raw eggs, or any surfaces that they have touched.
    • Wash bowls, utensils, countertops, and other surfaces with warm, soapy water.

Is recalled flour in your kitchen?

Illustration: Pack your pantry with fresh flour

In 2016, a large outbreak of E. coli ­ infections made people sick in 24 states. Disease detectives linked the illnesses to flour sold under several brand names, including Gold Medal, Gold Medal Wondra, and Signature Kitchens.

This flour, and baking mixes and other foods containing this flour, were recalled.
Check your pantry and throw away any recalled products.

If you stored flour in a container and no longer have the package, throw out the flour to be safe. Make sure that you clean your container with warm, soapy water before using it again.

Pay Close Attention to Any Symptoms

Food poisoning symptoms may range from mild to severe and may differ depending on the germ you swallowed. The symptoms of E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting.

People usually get sick 3 to 4 days after swallowing the germ. Most people recover within a week. However, some people develop a serious type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

The symptoms of Salmonella infections typically appear 6 to 48 hours after eating a contaminated food, though this period is sometimes longer. Symptoms typically include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. In most cases, illness lasts 4 to 7 days and people recover without antibiotics. Illness from Salmonella bacteria can be serious and is more dangerous for older adults, infants, and people with weakened immune systems.

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Understanding Blood Spatter as Evidence

If you turn your television on in the evening it is very likely you will find a television show where investigators are using some type of forensic or scientific method to collect or identify evidence. If you’re not into the crime television shows you can turn to the real television shows where they analyze a crime scene that has already been solved and the suspect is convicted using forensic evidence collected at the scene.

Having over thirty years of a law enforcement investigative background and working hundreds of homicide cases, I can assure you today; if you take a case in front of a jury you better be able to produce some type of forensic or scientific evidence if you want a conviction.

In this article I will explain some of the very basics of blood evidence and how to interpret the clues the blood evidence leaves.

Blood pattern’s and the interpretation of bloodstain patterns are very convincing evidence when used by an investigator that understands and can identify and explain them.

Blood evidence is most commonly used by a law enforcement investigators in criminal cases having experience and training in blood spatter. However, if a private investigator is assisting in a defense case with an attorney or working with a family in a wrongful death case and he/she has an understanding and knowledge of blood patterns, it can just as useful.

Some of the items blood evidence can show is movement and momentum during an attack, the type of weapon, and if more than one type of weapon was used. It will reveal to the trained eye how many times the weapon or weapons were used, and the distance between the victim and the attacker.

There are three basic types of blood patterns:

(1) Low velocity spatter.

This occurs with a minimal amount or no force. The blood pattern is much larger than those of medium velocity and high velocity.

This is commonly caused by the force of gravity, such as blood dropping off a finger or hand.

(2) Medium velocity spatter.

This type of blood pattern is usually caused by some form of force or movement. This blood pattern is commonly seen in beating type attacks. The blood is being moved or carried by something more than just gravity and less than high velocity.

A keynote to remember with this type of blood spatter is that during any type of blunt force trauma the first strike or blow does not create any type of blood pattern. It is not until the actual trauma has started to bleed from the wound and a second blow is struck, causing the blood to disperse out from the force or is cast off the weapon. A good rule of thumb is the larger or blunter the weapon the smaller the blood droplets.

(3) High velocity blood spatter.

This type of pattern is produced by an external tremendous force. The easiest way to describe this type of pattern is often referred to as a mist or spray. High velocity patterns are commonly created by gunshots, explosives, and injuries from heavy machinery have often been known to create a high velocity pattern.

High velocity blood spatter droplets, due to their size, are often times invisible to the naked eye. When investigating high velocity blood spatter it is best to use a high intensity light and/ or a magnifying glass to locate and identify the blood evidence due to the size of the blood droplets.

High velocity blood spatter can also be used to determine the distance of a subject involved in a shooting. When a bullet enters the body it causes an effect called “blow back”. This is blood blowing back in the direction the bullet came from. This fine mist will only travel a distance of two to three feet. You will often find tiny mist type droplets (high velocity blood spatter) on the sleeve and sometime chest of the subject firing the weapon.

This can be very important when attempting to determine or dispute the distance between the shooter and the victim in cases where self defense is claimed. In some cases to identify the shooter, as often times this blood evidence is very difficult to see and goes unnoticed. The suspect does not see any blood on his clothing and fails to clean it after being involved in the assault or homicide. Several reported suicide cases have turned into homicide cases with this type of evidence after investigators found high velocity blood spatter on the reporting parties shirt sleeves.

Another type of blood evidence is blood transfer. This is blood that has been carried from one source such as hands, hair and even clothing then transferred to another object.

When examining blood evidence, remember that blood will flow down due to gravity, and being a fluid, it will take the path of least resistance. This will assist you in identifying the position your victim at the time of the injury, and if the victim was moved in any manner. Often times the lack of blood evidence or a” void” indicates that something has blocked the blood flow or spatter. Again this can indicate the victim was moved or an item of evidence is missing from the scene.

An investigator using the blood evidence at the scene can also determine the angle of impact. By measuring the blood droplets their width by their length (minus the tail) to determine the arcsine. This will determine the angle of impact. Once an investigator knows the angle of impact, this can help the investigator to determine if the victim was standing, kneeling, or laying down at the time of the incident. Or even if the attack was moving around.

This article is only the beginning and a very basic idea of using blood evidence in your investigations, however, as you can see, just the basic can assist you with your case.

Source by Stuart M Robinson

5 Helpful Tips for Eliminating Detrimental Thoughts

Are negative thoughts sabotaging your mental health and wellbeing? Everyone thinks negatively from time to time after all, life can be frustrating and stressful.

Some people though spend an enormous amount of mental time dwelling negatively about themselves and there’s also individuals that critically obsess about others.

Negativity can be toxic, it holds us back in life and causes stress, anxiety, depression, anger and in some cases, even illness. Chronic negative thinking is detrimental to one’s health and happiness. Although it’s not easy, people do have the ability to change the way they think eliminating negative thoughts and focusing on positive ones.


Change begins with awareness. Before anyone can begin changing negative thinking patterns they have to realize they’re thinking negatively in the first place. Once realized, being mindfully aware of our thoughts can help a person begin recognizing when their beginning to think about something or someone in a negative way.

Breathe and Relax

When negative thinking begins to arise a helpful strategy is to breathe, begin quieting the mind and relax. Remind yourself that only you can control your thoughts and that negativity and undesirable thinking is harmful, stressful and very self-destructive.

Think Positive Thoughts

Positive Thoughts

Transform negative thoughts into positive ones. Practice positive thinking, this may sound foolish but habits are difficult to break. Try thinking about the positive aspects in life and practice this as often as you can. When situations arise instead of dwelling on the negative side and thinking stressfully, shift your focus and think about the positive aspects.

Eliminating Negativity

It’s impossible to eliminate everything in life that’s negative but we can become conscious of our own negative thoughts and avoid toxic people and situations. Stay away from negative people and avoid drama whenever you can to avoid detrimental thoughts and critical thinking. Instead surround yourself with people that have positive attitudes and healthy outlooks on life.

Overcoming Detrimental Thoughts

Remember change takes time, we can’t change unhealthy thinking or any other negative habits overnight. Recognizing the problem and need for change is the first step to modifying thoughts and behaviors. Happiness and contentment comes from with-in and we can choose to be engrossed in negative thoughts or occupy our minds and life with positive energy.

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