Is it safe to eat raw flour

Raw Flour: Is It Safe To Eat Raw Flour?

Is it safe to eat raw flour
Updated on
January 24, 2023
Gareth Busby
Gareth Busby

I’ve always been one for eating raw flour, but is it okay to eat flour? I believed that eating wheat in its raw form could provide insight into its quality. So I’ve been eating raw flour for years until I started to consider the dangers! So is raw flour bad for you? What does eating raw flour do?

In this article, you’ll learn about the food poisoning risks of eating raw flour, and hopefully, you’ll reach the same conclusion as I did!

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.

Why can’t you eat raw flour?

You shouldn’t eat raw flour, but why is raw flour unsafe? Wheat grain can come into contact with animal faeces, insects, insect eggs and fertilisers during the growing and harvesting processes. These contaminants can either make you sick 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. 

How to make raw flour safe to eat

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.

Why would you want to eat raw flour?

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.

Can flour be eaten raw?

A few months after posting this article, I’ve had a few people say they’ve been eating raw flour all their life and never had a problem. So really, is it bad to eat flour? Whilst I understand that many people don’t suffer sickness after eating raw flour, there is a chance that you might one day.

It’s best not to eat raw flour if you can.

What steps should I take when using raw flour?

If you’re using flour to bake, or cook a recipe, follow these steps to stop you from consuming unwanted bacteria:

  • Wash any utensils used with raw flour or raw foods thoroughly.
  • Use hot water and soap to wash your hands if they come in contact with raw flour. If possible, use hand sanitiser too.
  • Dry the utensils entirely after washing them. This will help prevent any bacteria from growing in moist areas of kitchen equipment or on towels used during cleaning steps. Make sure also to dry your hands thoroughly.
  • Cook raw dough or batter to an internal temperature of 80C (176 Fahrenheit) to kill any harmful bacteria in the raw food.
  • Allow the cooked product to cool completely before eating it. Do not eat any food that is still hot, as this can also cause you to get sick.

Can I eat unbaked sourdough starter?

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 thought to be some benefits of eating sourdough starter. Check out Murray’s comments on the can I eat sourdough starter page.

What if I accidentally ate raw flour?

If you eat raw dough or flour by accident, chances are you’ll be fine. Drink some extra water to help flush your system and carry on with your day. If you have severe swelling in your stomach or sickness after eating raw dough or flour, see medical assistance.

Raw cookie dough contains uncooked flour and raw eggs. If eggs are unpasteurised, they can contain salmonella and other food bourne illnesses. If the eggs have been treated, you shouldn’t get ill from them, although you’ll need to heat treat the flour if you want to eat raw cookie dough.

To heat treat flour, make edible cookie dough. Just heat the flour in the microwave before use.

Can I digest raw flour

What happens if you eat flour? Can you digest raw flour? Well, yes, raw flour will be digested by your body. Although raw flour is not one of the most popular ready to eat foods, it will be digested! Just make sure you heat it first to kill off the baddies!

Can I eat raw baking mixes?

A baking or cake mix contains usually flour that is unpasteurised, so in effect, you are handling raw flour when preparing one. You shouldn’t eat this raw for the reasons already advised.

Conclusion – So, is it safe to eat raw flour?

Can you eat uncooked flour? 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. I think we’ve covered why is raw flour bad and how you can follow some simple precautions to enjoy all the benefits of flour and keep healthy. Thanks for reading!

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  • Most people in Africa eat raw flour and I don’t hear of anyone getting E.coli. The wheat is harvested and taken to a mill, no treatment or such kind goes in the process.

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