Can You Eat Raw Pizza Dough? Exploring the Risks and Consequences

Can you eat raw pizza dough?

For some reason, people are almost unstoppable when it comes to eating raw dough. We don’t know what it is! Maybe it’s the impatience of waiting for that delicious final baked dish, or maybe it’s boredom.
Either way, we’ve all heard the warnings. Don’t eat raw dough; you’ll get sick. You’ll end up in the hospital!”
But no one ever explained why – and to be perfectly honest, we’ve eaten raw dough before, and nothing has happened to us. Well, not yet anyway.
So today we are going to look at the question: can you eat raw pizza dough? In short, you can, but you really shouldn’t. The potential risks are just too high! Bacteria commonly found on raw pizza dough include E. coli and Salmonella, not to mention other bacteria that sit on the undercooked toppings.
In this article, we’ll explain why you shouldn’t eat raw or undercooked pizza dough, what the risks are, the potential symptoms of food poisoning, and how to avoid it altogether. We’ve even included a handy guide on how to avoid undercooked dough altogether!

Raw vs. undercooked pizza dough

First, it’s important to know the difference between undercooked pizza dough and raw, uncooked pizza dough. They look very similar, but spoiler alert – you shouldn’t eat either!
Undercooked pizza dough refers to areas of an assembled and “baked” pizza that have not been fully cooked. The outside is usually dry and appears to be baked, but when you tear the dough apart, the inside is still slightly doughy.
Raw pizza dough, on the other hand, hasn’t even begun to cook. It usually happens in the center of the pizza or in a thicker area that hasn’t cooked yet.
Now, one is definitely much riskier to eat than the other. However, both can have serious health implications.

Should you eat raw pizza dough?

Bottom line: As we’ve already made very clear, raw or undercooked pizza cannot and should never be eaten.
There are a lot of people who say, “It’s okay, it’s okay!” But the reality is that many ingredients can carry seriously dangerous bacteria. It’s not that you’re guaranteed to get sick from eating raw pizza dough. But the risk is too high.
It’s the same with slightly undercooked chicken or pork. It’s not written in stone that you’re going to get salmonella. But these two ingredients are known to carry a higher chance of giving you it!
So don’t eat it – don’t even try raw pizza dough. You could get food poisoning and end up in the hospital!

Risks of eating raw or undercooked pizza dough

There are a few different ingredients that go into making pizza dough that can potentially carry a ton of risk if the dough isn’t cooked properly.
Let’s take a closer look at some of them!


Flour is grossly underestimated as a potential health hazard. Remember, flour isn’t heat-treated at all.
When you buy and use flour, it’s technically raw. That means it can carry a ton of bacteria. The most common one you’ll find in this ingredient is E. coli (Escherichia coli).
And before you ask, no, bleaching and milling the wheat doesn’t kill the bacteria. The only way to effectively get rid of them is to heat-treat (aka bake or cook) the flour.


Eggs are an ingredient notorious for causing food poisoning. If your undercooked pizza dough contains any, which most recipes do, you may want to think twice about eating it.
Raw and undercooked eggs can carry salmonella. That is why eggs must reach a baked or cooked temperature of 160ºF (71ºC). You can check the internal temperature of dough with an instant-read thermometer.
Pizza dough in particular is actually only properly cooked at about 200-210ºF (93-99ºC). One way around this is to use heat-treated or pasteurized eggs.


Obviously, toppings aren’t part of the pizza dough. But if the dough is undercooked, it’s likely that your toppings will be, too.
Depending on what toppings you’ve added and how you’ve added them, this can carry its own set of risks.
Seafood pizza in particular is known to carry bacteria such as listeria, shigella, vibrio, and salmonella.

Symptoms of food poisoning

Of course, there are different degrees of food poisoning. If you’re lucky, you’ll get away with mild symptoms, but even those are no picnic!
E. coli symptoms usually include stomach problems and vomiting. Symptoms usually appear about 3-4 days after ingesting the bacteria and start with cramps and diarrhea.
E. coli is also known to cause HUS (Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome), which can lead to stroke and death!
Then there’s the dreaded salmonella bacteria, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and headache. These symptoms typically appear within 6-48 hours of eating contaminated food.

Bottom line

While it may be tempting to indulge in raw pizza dough, it’s important to understand the potential risks. Raw or undercooked pizza dough can harbor harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, which can lead to serious food poisoning and related complications.
To ensure your safety, it is best to avoid eating raw pizza dough altogether. Proper cooking of pizza dough and its ingredients, including flour and eggs, is essential to eliminate the risk of foodborne illness.
Remember, it’s always better to put your health first and opt for a fully baked and delicious pizza than to risk the consequences of eating raw or undercooked dough.


Can you get sick from eating raw pizza dough?

Yes, eating raw pizza dough can make you sick. Raw dough can harbor harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning and related health complications.

What are the risks of eating undercooked pizza dough?

Undercooked pizza dough may pose a higher risk of foodborne illness. It may contain bacteria and other pathogens that can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fever.

How can I prevent food poisoning from raw pizza dough?

The best way to prevent food poisoning from raw pizza dough is to avoid eating it altogether. Make sure the dough is fully cooked at the recommended temperature to kill any harmful bacteria. Practice good food safety practices when handling and preparing dough and toppings.

Are there safe alternatives to eating raw pizza dough?

Yes, there are safe alternatives to satisfying your dough cravings. Consider using pre-baked pizza crusts or try edible cookie dough recipes that are specifically designed to be eaten raw, but are made without ingredients that pose a risk of foodborne illness.

Can freezing raw pizza dough kill bacteria?

Freezing raw pizza dough can help slow the growth of bacteria, but it does not guarantee complete elimination of bacteria. It is still important to properly cook the dough to a safe temperature to ensure the destruction of any harmful bacteria.

Are there any health risks associated with eating other types of raw dough?

Yes, there are health risks associated with eating other types of raw dough, such as cookie dough or bread dough. These doughs may contain raw eggs or uncooked flour, which can carry bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli. It is best to avoid eating raw dough to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.