Bad news for cookie lovers, good news for waistlines everywhere: Salmonella can live for at least six months in crackers and cookies, according to research published in the Journal of Food Protection, Medical News Today reports.
Now, you hear about salmonella on a fairly frequent basis with the latest influx of outbreaks, but do you know what it is—or better yet, what it can do to your body? Salmonella is a bacteria that can make you sick. Salmonella infections usually pass after four to seven days without treatment, but more dire cases bring on diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and, if the infection travels from the intestines to the bloodstream, can require hospitalization and antibiotics.
Researchers put salmonella into four different types of cookie and cracker fillings—i.e. peanut butter and cheese for the cracker sandwiches, and vanilla and chocolate for cookie sandwiches—then placed them in storage.
The battle of the bacteria ensued. Salmonella survived better and longer in the cookie sandwiches than in the crackers; in some cases it lingered for half a year.
Researchers are contemplating new preventative measures for limiting outbreaks and contamination. One option: Stop the use of ingredients in which foodborne pathogens are present. Until then, maybe let this new be another motivator to help you steer clear of packaged, processed, sugar-packed snacks.