BERLIN (dpa) – Food inspectors have discovered the presence of pathogenic bacteria in wheat flour.
In 22 of a total of 242 samples examined from mills (9% are good) they detected so-called STEC bacteria last year, the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) announced. These can cause severe inflammation of the intestine. It can kill potential germs while baking – so nibbling on ready-made cookies isn’t a problem.
Bacteria can cause enteritis
Escherichia coli bacteria are part of the healthy intestinal flora in humans and animals. STEC bacteria – E. coli bacteria that produce Shiga toxin – are pathogenic species of E. coli bacteria. They are distinguished by a number of special properties, including the ability to form certain toxins. If bacteria enter the body, they can cause gastroenteritis, which can be severe. The elderly or immunocompromised, she added, and young children are particularly at risk. With them, infection can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is often associated with acute kidney failure, explains BVL.
Don’t eat the dough raw
“If possible, don’t eat crackers or cookie dough raw,” BVL President Friedel Kramer said. “Potential STEC bacteria in flour are only killed when it is fully heated in the oven; you should never let your children snack before that.” In addition, good kitchen hygiene must be observed in order to prevent transmission of the pathogen to other foods.
In total, the supervisory authorities of the federal states examined approximately 369,000 enterprises and about 597,000 products in 2020.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211203-99-237900 / 2
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