Heat-treated flour addresses food safety

Tuesday, 10 April, 2018

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Children have often been caught trying to pinch a bit of raw cookie dough from the mixing bowl, only to be reprimanded and told it was unsafe. This may be about to change with Page House launching heat-treated flour for American households.

Food products containing raw ingredients pose the risk of E. coli and other harmful bacteria, but once they are killed in the cooking process the product becomes safe for consumption. While the danger of getting Salmonella from raw eggs is well known, raw flour is often wrongly assumed as being safe to eat.

In 2016, 63 people from 24 states became ill from an outbreak of E. coli linked to raw flour. This resulted in 10 million pounds of flour being recalled, as well as baking mixes and foods containing this flour.

The outbreak of illnesses prompted the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to warn consumers against eating raw dough or batter in any form, including cookies, tortillas, pizza, biscuits, pancakes or crafts made with raw flour.

Food manufacturers have avoided these food safety risks with the use of heat-treated flour, but households have previously not had access to these products. With the popularity of raw recipes increasing, this has highlighted the need for safer food options. Page House recognised the gap in the market and has responded by offering consumer-packaged heat-treated flour.

The flour is exposed to heat through a treatment process which eliminates harmful bacteria. In the interest of food safety and transparency, each batch of flour is tested and the results are published publicly for review.

Page House's heat-treated flour will be available in mid-April and will help ensure the safe handling and eating of raw recipes, especially around children who fail to understand the dangers of raw ingredients.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/JenkoAtaman

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