Baking & Snack - May 2018 - 71

Food Safety

Consumers need to be sure flour is sourced, handled and processed safely...

from FARM to FORK
by Hikmet Boyacioglu, PhD


Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food
is key to sustaining life and promoting good health.
Unsafe food can cause hundreds of diseases. Food can
become contaminated at any point during production,
distribution and preparation, and everyone along the
production chain, from producer to consumer, has a role
to play in food safety.
According to Julie Miller Jones, PhD, distinguished
scholar and professor emerita, foods and nutrition, St.
Catherine University, food safety for the grain industry
is a farm-to-fork activity. For grain, it begins with using Good Agricultural Processes to minimize contamination during harvest, drying and transport to the mill.
"Proper sampling and testing of the grain as it enters
the mill ensures that standards for heavy metals, agricultural chemicals and contaminants such as mycotoxins are observed," Dr. Miller Jones said.

Good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and HACCP
plans should be in place to ensure that the grain is not
contaminated during the milling process, she added.
Packaging should not introduce any problems and prevent further contamination. Bakers need to store milled
grains in a cool, dry place where there is a limited chance
of infestation. Finally, she explained, consumers must be
aware that flours can contain microorganisms such as
salmonella, and raw flour products should not be eaten
and should be cooked and stored safely.
"Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly
from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria," said Leslie Smoot, PhD, senior advisor in the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA)'s Office of Food Safety.
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.

Contaminants from a field
can impact final flour
product, and millers must
rely on more than kill
steps like ovens.
Bay State Milling / May 2018 Baking & Snack 71

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