While pizza is arguably the most perfect food, some problems can arise with it. These are rare, but improperly prepared pies can cause severe illness. Due to the infrequency of this, some people have a hard time believing it. You always hear stories of people consuming undercooked pizza dough stomach ache.
This very much can happen, which may lead to things like nausea, abdominal pain, dehydration, headache, heartburn, diarrhea, and vomiting. These are obviously undesirable side effects but they are very preventable.
The best and first thing you should do when you receive a pizza at a restaurant or make one at home is to check the crust. Make sure it’s nice and crispy without it being too doughy. If it looks raw or appears too soft, send it back or put it in the oven for a few minutes longer.
Defining Undercooked Pizza
In order for the cause of undercooked pizza dough stomach ache, it means the crust is raw and sticky. The tell tale sign here is an immense mushiness to the crust without that golden brown appearance. You can test this by poking your finger into the crust and the underside of the slice.
It should feel a little firm with a hollow-like sound when you tap on it. When your finger can push clear into the doughy part, it is not yet ready to eat. In some cases, there may be sections that are crispy while others are rawer. You might be okay to eat it, but it’s still risky.
To prevent any unpleasantness from an undercooked pizza crust, you can do several things at home or when dining out at the restaurant. Performing a few simple checks and developing a foolproof method will increase your chances of enjoyment without feeling sick to your stomach.
When making homemade pizza, wash your hands well before touching any food. Additionally, clean surfaces, utensils, and toppings. This means wiping down counters, using clean cutting boards, and rinsing off vegetables. It prevents unwanted cross contamination and bacteria from getting into the dough.
Also, once you’ve made the crust, prebake it for about five to 10 minutes before putting on things like sauce, sausage, onions and cheese. This will guarantee it will cook all the way through. If you have a great concern for undercooked crusts, then only use a little bit of sauce and stay light with the toppings.
When you’re pizza is cooking, clean your work area and wash your hands again. This will be good for when the pizza finishes to further prevent cross contamination.
If you’re at a restaurant or pizzeria, always check the crust when it arrives at your table. Even if you’re getting the pizza for takeout or receiving a delivery, check the crust to ensure doneness. It should appear golden brown with a hollow sound when you tap it with your finger.
At the restaurant, send the pie back if you find the crust too undercooked. However, if you overlooked the underdone dough upon pickup or delivery, then turn your oven on to 350°F and cook the pie for five to 10 minutes. Continue to check the crust and allow it to cook until it reaches the desired appearance and texture.
Consuming Undercooked Pizza Crusts
While you could consume the dough as is, it does contain raw egg and this can cause food poisoning. But, you’ll have to determine how raw the crust is before deciding to risk it or not.
To illustrate, if it looks soft and deflated, don’t consume it. But, if most of the crust is fine with just a little rawness in the center, you should be okay to eat it without any problems. Even with precautions, though, you can still incur things like:
- Abdominal Pain: This can happen from harmful organisms and bacterium festering in the dough. Your intestines will flare up, complete with toxin production. This can not only be painful but it can also damage the lining in your digestive tract.
- Dehydration: Dehydration can occur after eating undercooked pizza dough due to the salt, baking powder, yeast and other ingredients. While this isn’t often serious enough for a doctor, you must keep hydrated with things other than water. Fresh fruit, vegetables, yogurt and coconut water are ideal.
- Diarrhea: Yet another symptom of consuming undercooked pizza dough, diarrhea is nothing to ignore. If this happens, it’s likely that the harmful bacteria invading the pizza is also irritating your gut. This forces your body to produce excess gas and water, which has to come out to avoid toxicity buildup.
- Fever: When your body temperature rises after eating an undercooked crust, you could be experiencing fever. While this will accompany other symptoms mentioned here, it’s a sure sign of food poisoning.
- Headache: If your stomachache is bad enough from consuming raw pizza dough, it can cause you to have a headache. This is especially true if you incur a full on food poisoning episode, where your body and immune system are trying to purge every bit of the food out of your body.
- Heartburn: That burning, acid feeling in the stomach rising to the chest is quintessential heartburn. It can happen from consuming an undercooked pizza crust. If this is your only symptom, drink water and take some antacids.
- Joint Pain: Sometimes your bones or skeletal structure aches in combination with your stomachache. This is quite normal, although researchers are still yet unsure of what causes this.
- Loss of Appetite: Whether your stomachache is minor or excruciating, you will probably feel lazy and won’t want to eat. But, you must remain hydrated, especially if nausea, headache or heartburn accompany this.
- Vomiting or Nausea: An undercooked crust can force you to vomit or make you sick. The rawness of the dough simply won’t agree with your stomach, which causes serotonin levels to increase. This slows down digestion and causes feelings of nausea.
Treating a Stomachache
If you have stomach upset after eating uncooked pizza dough, take care of yourself and evaluate the severity. When it accompanies vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain, seek medical help. This is especially true if it lasts several hours.
But, if your stomachache is a light annoyance, then rest for a while and consume plenty of water along with other hydrating items like coconut water or prickly pear juice. Also, eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
Drinking green tea is good too because it will eliminate toxins from your body and treat heartburn, headaches and other maladies. Don’t engage in physical exercise either.
So, while undercooked pizza dough stomach ache does occur, you do want to take the necessary precautions. Always inspect your pizza’s crust before you eat it. Poke around to make sure it’s crispy and that it sounds almost hollow when you tap on it. When your finger sinks right in, it’s raw and you shouldn’t eat it.
However, in the off chance you feel sick after eating uncooked dough, take it easy and rest for a while. Pay attention to how your body feels and, if symptoms worsen, you’ll have to seek medical attention. But, it will usually subside within about 24 hours.