Home kitchen heat-treated flour doesn’t protect against foodborne illnesses, Purdue food scientist says – News & Stories

“The type of container you use, the way the flour is poured, and other factors can affect heat transfer and leave some bacteria alive,” Feng said. “You may feel like you are heating your flour which means you are careful, but these methods are not scientifically validated.”

In a study66 percent of flour consumers stated that they had eaten raw dough or cake batter in order to study consumer knowledge. 85 percent of consumers were unaware of flour recalls or outbreaks. and only 17 percent believed they would be affected by flour recalls or outbreaks.

Overall, there is very little awareness among consumers that flour is a raw material. There is a need to provide more communication and education, Feng said.

Feng is a team member at Michigan State University’s Center for Low-Moisture Food Safety, which addresses the microbial food safety challenges of low-humidity foods, including wheat flour. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funds the center, which conducts research to aid consumer informed decision making.

Until more is known, however, Feng suggests baking all of the batter and batter and resisting the urge to lick the spoon.

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