Gransnet forums

Ask a gran


(40 Posts)
kittylester Thu 27-Oct-16 20:17:52

I've just opened a bag of flour to coat some fish. The bag had been opened previously and sealed with a clip. After I had tipped some on to a plate I noticed it moving.shock I threw it away, along with all the other open (and clipped) bags and disinfected the shelf.

Three questions:

If we had eaten the flour without my noticing would it have done us any harm?

What else do I need to do?

Where do the little b*****s come from?

fiorentina51 Thu 27-Oct-16 20:27:14

I have the same problem. I'm not a regular baker so often have open bags of flour. I find that if I double wrap the bags in cling film then put them in a sealed container (something like Tupperware,) the usually stay weevil free.
Annoying isn't it?
I'm sure that in the past, I have probably baked something with weevils in it! I make sure I wear my glasses now when preparing to use flour.

vampirequeen Thu 27-Oct-16 20:35:40

You wouldn't have been hurt if you'd eaten the weevils. In the past sailors ate a type of biscuit called hard tack. They used to tap it on the table to knock out any weevils but never got all out. Think of them as extra protein grin

Deedaa Thu 27-Oct-16 20:37:48

My great uncle, who had been in the Merchant Navy, often told me about them knocking the weevils out of their ship's biscuits before they ate them! Presumably they would have missed some of them, but nobody died from eating them.

Nelliemoser Thu 27-Oct-16 23:25:59

Surely if you cook flour before you use it it will kill them. I would not worry that much.
I put my flour in proper food bags, the sort that go in the freezer. Just don't keep flour for too long.

kittylester Fri 28-Oct-16 07:20:10

The flour was only a couple of days out of date and hadn't been open for that long. I presume that the blighters won't get into sealed plastic bags?

kittylester Fri 28-Oct-16 07:22:06

I should have said that it was gf flour which doesn't have a long use by date on it.

jusnoneed Fri 28-Oct-16 08:35:39

I transfer my flour into lock'n'lock boxes, that seems to stop the little blighters. Have had them a couple times in my cupboard - last time even after scrubbing/disinfecting it they came back into new bag of bread flour. Bought next re-stock lot from a different store, just in case they were in batch from makers.
I read somewhere that bay leaves keep them away, maybe an old wives tale but since I have been putting a few in the cupboard all has been well (touch wood). I cut fresh ones from bay bush in the garden.

Wobblybits Fri 28-Oct-16 08:55:33

I might well be wrong, but I suspect the eggs are already in he flour when you get it, so bags, boxes etc may not stop them.

fiorentina51 Fri 28-Oct-16 09:37:37

Just read some advice on wiki how. It recommends freezing a fresh bag of flour for 96 hours to kill the eggs that are already present. Also have a good sort out of your cupboards and give a thorough clean including using the vac nozzle to remove any lurking in the crevices. Check all other open packets of cereal products and sugar before putting them back in the cupboard and preferably store in sealed containers.

I would have just put the link but computer says no!

ONEphilrogers Fri 28-Oct-16 09:44:36

So much for the Great British Bake Off

aitch Fri 28-Oct-16 09:57:37

I had weevils in my salt and sugar containers - chucked them out and bought some of those preserve jars with a rubber seal and metal spring lock - seems to have done the trick.

Lona Fri 28-Oct-16 10:03:00

I had them in my dry goods cupboard once and I tried all sorts to get rid of them. In the end I used Raid fly spray all over the cupboards and the shelf joints, and never had them again.

chrisw Fri 28-Oct-16 10:03:28

Not only do thickish, sealed plastic bags keep the beasts out, they also keep them in. I don't know if it was weevils that infested a bag of flour I had (I would be interested to know) but I found fly like creatures trapped in the plastic bag I had put the flour in. I was very relieved that they had not escaped to infest other foodstuffs.

Grannynise Fri 28-Oct-16 10:04:38

The eggs are always there, just waiting for hatching time, so we're certainly all eating weevil eggs. I buy my flour in 500g bags and throw it out, if there's any left, a few weeks before the use by date. At about 50p a bag it doesn't seem too extravagant whereas throwing out the entire contents of the dry goods cupboard is.

I appreciate that the GF flour only comes in larger bags and costs more. I keep that, only used for son-out-law, in the freezer.

Bluecat Fri 28-Oct-16 10:23:30

I buy flour in boxes, rather than bags, and there seem to be less bug-related incidents. Don't know why, as they have to be in the flour already - how else could they get into sealed bags?

The worst we ever had was some gram flour, which I had decanted into a tin. I don't use it a lot, just when I'm making some Indian recipes, and when I opened it, it was full of winged things like moths! I screamed, slammed the lid back on and threw the whole thing away. It was many years ago, and I now keep a close eye on any gram flour in my possession.

Thingmajig Fri 28-Oct-16 11:00:31

I'm an occasional baker and keep flour in plastic tubs. I've never knowingly had a weevil problem. I always sift for baking so hopefully haven't baked with them!
Oh well, do they provide protein??? grin

Greyduster Fri 28-Oct-16 11:04:43

I know this is probably going to be a silly question, but if you freeze flour, and then defrost it, does it not go damp? I have never heard of anyone freezing flour, so I would be interested to know.

Funnygran Fri 28-Oct-16 11:08:37

I decant into Tupperware foxes and seem to have got rid of them all thank goodness. We had a holiday in Sri Lanka a few years ago and bought a bag of nutmegs which were still in their outer shell. A couple of years later I broke one open and a large winged insect crawled out. I was so horrified that I just scooped it up in a piece of paper and put it outside. A braver person would have kept it to investigate what it was.

IHaveAFabulousDIL Fri 28-Oct-16 11:09:21

I didn't know you could freeze flour and I freeze EVERYTHING! You're not alone.
We've had the little b*****s in our larder. In a lock n lock box. I threw the whole thing away. (Shudder)

IHaveAFabulousDIL Fri 28-Oct-16 11:11:33

Really, Funny? I don't know anyone who would have investigated that! Except for DH. He's weird like that😊

Jalima Fri 28-Oct-16 11:12:41

DD always freezes her flour (gf) and keeps cornflour etc in the fridge - in fact everything is kept in the fridge or freezer as they live in the tropics.
and she makes great cakes! I think she decants the flour into plastic containers before freezing it.

Jalima Fri 28-Oct-16 11:15:46

In fact - how do they get rid of any tiny insects that may get into grain before the grains are made into cereals?

fiorentina51 Fri 28-Oct-16 11:19:49

Sorry, forgot to mention that the article recommended putting the bag of flour in a freezer bag first.

Milton1951 Fri 28-Oct-16 11:49:02

Yes, freezing is apparently the way to go according to what I've read.

I have had them before but cleaned thoroughly and scattered bay leaves around the drawer, put everything likely to be affected (not just flour) into lock n lock boxes and, so far, so good.

We got mice in the kitchen last year. They ate through bags of porridge etc. so now everything goes into a strong container.

It's life, I suppose.