Can anything be done to raw flour to eliminate the risk of bacteria so it...

Asked December 21, 2018, 2:23 PM EST

Can anything be done to raw flour to eliminate the risk of bacteria so it would be safe to use for children's play dough, etc.? (Theory says that you should be able to put it in the oven at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time, similar to the way you can pasteurize cider by heating it to 165 degrees.) Is that a possibility??

Delaware County Ohio food safety food safety education

1 Response

Thank you for your question. While I don't have any resources from Extension to support pasteurizing flour at home, there are several commercial resources (Epicurious, Cooking Light, etc.) that list similar guidelines.

Heating the flour to an internal temperature of 165 degrees is sufficient to make the flour safe. One option appears to be baking or toasting the flour in a thin layer on a baking sheet at 350F for 10 minutes. Another option is heating the dry flour in the microwave and stirring every 15 seconds until the correct temperature has been reached.