I’ve always been one for eating raw flour. I believe a lot can be learned about the quality of wheat by eating it in its raw form. That was until I realised how unhygienic and dangerous it can be! In this article, you’ll learn about the risks of eating raw flour, and hopefully, you’ll reach the same conclusion as I!
Can you eat raw flour? The short answer is no. The long answer is a little more complicated, though. Raw flour is not safe to eat. That’s because there’s a risk that it contains harmful bacteria like E. coli O121 and Salmonella Typhimurium, often found in natural whole-grain products such as wheat berries and oats.
You shouldn’t eat raw flour for many reasons. It’s possible that wheat grain comes into contact with animal faeces, insects, insect eggs and fertilisers during the growing and harvesting processes. These contaminants can either make you sick directly or breed harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella which can make you seriously ill. Symptoms range from a bloated tummy, diarrhoea or even needing hospital treatment.
The best way to make flour safe to eat is by cooking it. This will kill any harmful bacteria that may be present in the flour. The temperature should go beyond 80C (176F) to ensure the contaminants are destroyed.
There are many reasons why you might be tempted to eat raw flour. You might want to add it to thicken sauces or smoothies, or perhaps you just like the taste! You should also be careful when baking with flour that you don’t eat or touch your face without washing your hands first.
If you’re using flour to bake, or cook a recipe, follow these steps to stop you from consuming unwanted bacteria:
Well, it’s a bit risky but if certain requirements are met you can eat raw sourdough starter. The starter must be fully active and have dropped below 4.2pH which kills off unwanted bacteria. If it’s not quite ripe and above 4.2pH, there’s a good chance that lots of harmful bacteria will have populated in your starter, which can easily make you ill. This is where the risk comes in as you won’t be able to test the pH factor of your starter without specialised equipment (a simple pH metre won’t work). There are though to be some benefits of eating sourdough starter, check out Murrays’ comments on the can I eat sourdough starter page.
While some people may think that raw flour is safe to eat, it’s not recommended by the FDA. It is essential to follow proper food safety guidelines to make sure you don’t get sick. With a few simple precautions, you can enjoy all the benefits of flour while staying safe and healthy. Thanks for reading!