Why Heat-Treated Flour?
Don’t Eat the Cookie Dough!
We’ve all heard the reports, “Don’t eat raw cookie dough, it will make you sick!” The FDA‘s senior advisor for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Jenny Scott, even said, “Eating raw dough or batter — whether it’s bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas — could make you, and your kids, sick.” Scott even mentions the risks of creating and handling “flour crafts” and possible exposure to E.coli or Salmonella. The fact of the matter is, however, we all are guilty of stealing a spoonful of raw cookie dough. The result is a little bite which contains unpasteurized, or non-heat-treated, wheat flour.
But it’s the Eggs, Right?
Certainly, eggs are a concern in raw dough. This is likely the concern that most readily comes to mind for everyone. However, flour is also a risk contributor. The FDA tactfully states, “If an animal heeds the call of nature in the field, bacteria from the animal waste could contaminate the grain, which is then harvested and milled into flour.” And it doesn’t take more than a few country farm roads to realize how closely livestock and grain fields can co-exist, easily putting potential contamination in perspective. How do you make flour safe? Well, the process is similar to pasteurizing milk, it involves heat. So heat-treated flour becomes a solution, but does it exist?
A quick google search of “E.coli flour” or “Salmonella flour” or “contaminated flour” will quickly produce reports of people getting ill, flour recalls, and ominous and scary sounding news articles. For example, there is CNN’s “Put down that cake batter: Uncooked flour may have E.coli” or the New York Times’ “Thanks a Lot! New Reasons Not to Eat Cookie Dough.” While these articles bring proper awareness to the potential risks they lack one key element: a solution.
They offer advice, like the Consumer Reports article, “Avoid an E.Coli Infection From Flour” that outlines 5 sources to avoid or disinfect, such as raw dough and batter, arts and crafts materials, no-cook dishes, contaminated cooking and eating surfaces, and containers you use to store flour. But none of this advice provides a good solution that allows you to safely handle raw flour.
It’s okay, there’s a solution!
Having a safer option for our own homes and families has always been something we’re passionate about. This passion grew after more reports of flour caused illness and flour recalls have continued to surface. We looked for flour that we could use in our crafts with our kids and handle without worry. Eventually, the search for such a product led us to a conclusion: it didn’t exist for consumers. So, we decided to create the first ever heat-treated flour available for consumers and provide a solution for all those who can’t help but lick the bowl or steal a spoonful… or two.