If you live in New York, or if you’re on social media, or if you exist, you’ve probably heard of a particularly popular Instagram trend that involves a sweet-yet-controversial treat: cookie dough. Dō, Greenwich Village’s raw cookie dough shop, has been crammed with people since it opened, but after a new lawsuit, it may not be—in fact, it may not even exist. Bloomberg reports that, according to the lawsuit, the shop's uncooked dough causes food-borne illness, despite the fact that the company calls its products “worry-free” on its site.
Dō says that its dough does not contain raw eggs, but rather a "pasteurized egg product," which means there's no chance of salmonella because the "heat process kills any potentially harmful bacteria." In addition, the company says that its flour is heat-treated, removing any chance of food-borne illness. "All ingredients in each of our delicious, homemade recipes are completely safe to consume just as they are—unbaked," the site reads. "We give you peace of mind, allowing you to eat a piece of cookie dough heaven how you like it best."
However, “peace of mind” isn’t what the two plaintiffs got. Julia Canigiani and Katherine Byrne claim that they ate two separate dishes, but both experienced stomach issues and nausea. Canigiani later experienced vomiting and diarrhea. They're accusing the shop of unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent concealment, and they claim the damages "exceed" $5 million.
While the lawsuit also includes eight Yelp reviews claiming the same issues, it’s important to note a few holes. First of all, as Grub Street highlights, Canigiani claimed that she started "experiencing stomach pains" within "approximately 15 minutes"—and since the incubation period generally takes several days, it's likely that Canigiani's stomach issues had other origins. Additionally, considering the FDA’s constant reminders not to consume cookie dough, it’s possible that particularly nervous patrons may have experienced psychosomatic issues after visiting the shop.
But either way, maybe cookie dough is something we should best enjoy baked.