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Flour contaminated with E Coli - don't lick the bowl

(55 Posts)
JessM Wed 06-Dec-17 11:42:16

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42236702
This seems an unlikely food poisoning risk. E Coli is not going to breed on flour as it is dry and cool - so I guess it depends on how contaminated the grain might be. Two possible sources I reckon. Faeces in fertiliser is one, as E Coli is a bowel based bug. The other is rats. I know of a "mill" in Ireland which makes brown bread mix for soda bread. No way is it rat proof. Raw egg is now deemed safe in the UK, but should we still discourage "licking the bowl?"

shysal Wed 06-Dec-17 13:00:40

I shall never stop licking the bowl! smile

SueDonim Wed 06-Dec-17 13:37:33

Weird how America warns against licking the cake bowl but does nothing about the far more lethal gun epidemic. I guess there are no votes in flour. confused

Baggs Wed 06-Dec-17 14:17:44

How many people (what proportion of bowl licker-outers) ever, anywhere, had unpleasant repercussions after licking out the bowl? Bet the number and the proportion are tiny. It's worth the risk imo.

Farmor15 Wed 06-Dec-17 14:38:11

As a retired microbiologist, I think the risk is extremely low. I notice report was from US where food standards seem to be lower than this side of Atlantic. I’ll continue to lick bowl, particularly for rich choc cake and brownies.smile
But I think my 35 year old Kenwood chef may be on last legs. Can’t live without it so will have to replace.

Bathsheba Wed 06-Dec-17 15:03:02

Licking the bowl and mixing utensils is the best part of the baking process grin

On another, but similar, note - who else used to eat raw sausage meat as a child? I loved it and don't remember ever being ill as a result.

M0nica Wed 06-Dec-17 15:11:58

How many cases of 'bowl licking' related e. colli have there been in the last 10 years? Probably fewer than the number of those winning £1m plus prizes in the national lottery.

I will continue to take the 'risk'

JessM Wed 06-Dec-17 16:14:56

Yes indeed food and farming standards are very different in the USA. Allowed to pump cattle full of antibiotics and fatten them in disgusting confined "feed lots" for example.

kittylester Wed 06-Dec-17 16:31:25

Surely, there is no choice about licking the bowl - it's automatic - a bit like breathing but not so good for you! tchconfused

And, who actually licks the bowl rather than a spoon, spatula or finger? tchgrin

M0nica Wed 06-Dec-17 17:07:46

Much more fun than breathing, although I agree that is essential., but then so is licking the bowl hmm

NanaandGrampy Wed 06-Dec-17 17:22:11

I’m making a standing for licking the bowl ( with a spoon ...I am a lady) ! Ecoli be damned !!

midgey Wed 06-Dec-17 17:40:36

I once had a bad experience licking the bowl, as a child I was walking through the kitchen as my mother turned her back I took a large finger full from the ‘chocolate cake’ mix in the bowl. To my horror it was raw chicken livers, the makings of pate! Good job I had run outside!

suzied Wed 06-Dec-17 17:45:43

My OH was in hospital with E. coli for over a month 6 years ago, he had kidney abscess and pneumonia and had to have intravenous antibiotics plus surgery to clear all the infected muck out. He was really ill. He didn’t get it by licking a bowl though.

Friday Wed 06-Dec-17 18:13:31

This from 2016

“Health watchdogs have warned people to thoroughly wash mixed salad leaves after the food item appeared to be the source of an outbreak of E coli food poisoning that has so far infected 151 people in Britain, leaving two of them dead.

Public Health England (PHE) said several of those affected were known to have eaten mixed salad, including rocket, before becoming unwell.”

suzied Wed 06-Dec-17 18:19:30

Yes I now always wash salad leaves, fruit, tomatoes, cucumbers etc as soon as I buy them and before eating.

Greyduster Wed 06-Dec-17 18:22:36

Bathsheba I had a friend who used to eat raw sausage meat. When I asked my mother if I could try some, she was horrified. When I actually did get to try it, so was I! But, ‘a chacun a son gout’. As for licking the bowl, I have been licking left over cake mix for a large proportion of my 71 years, and GS and I fight over whatever is available when our baking is over. We are both still here!

RAF Thu 07-Dec-17 10:57:16

I've never enjoyed raw cake mix, but OH, children and grandchildren all do, never heard of anyone getting sick. Raw sausagemeat is another matter. Hopefully meat inspection is better these days, but as a two year old I helped myself to a small quantity of mince. It led to a tapeworm infection, treated aggressively in hospital with worm killing drugs, but they never found the head, the sign it that has gone. I was fine afterwards, but 16 years later when applying for nursing, the hospital contacted the one where I had been treated, and I was almost refused training due to lack of a tapeworm head being recorded!

sarahellenwhitney Thu 07-Dec-17 11:24:49

Only the US could come up with something like this.

MinniesMum Thu 07-Dec-17 11:41:23

Be careful - my husband managed to get E coli in his blood and he was in the ICU for a week in August nott home again until the end of September. 6 units of blood transfused and he is only just beginning to look like himself again. We think he got it from a cystoscopy but I have never been so scared in my life.
I took a new bag of flour out of the larder last week (bought the week before and fully sealed) and I found little brown insects in it and they were alive!. I took the bag back to the supermarket who told me the whole batch had to be destroyed. I will never buy M D u a l s again.

Teetime Thu 07-Dec-17 11:44:10

I'll take the risk, if there is one which I doubt, and lick the bowl - one of life's little pleasures. smile

annodomini Thu 07-Dec-17 11:48:57

My sisters and I used to be in fierce competition for scraping out the bowl when our Mum baked. My DSs did the same and now, when I have a rare baking session, I just can't help reverting to childhood.

Coconut Thu 07-Dec-17 11:58:06

No wonder there are so many bugs around these days, it’s such a sterile world our immune systems are not working ! Worlds gone mad !

amy2shoes Thu 07-Dec-17 12:21:31

Actually I ate raw sausagemeat as a youngster, nothing horrible happened but veggie now, knowing how animals are treated

NemosMum Thu 07-Dec-17 12:45:11

Just made some molasses currant cakes & licked the bowl - Yum! I'm having chemotherapy at the moment. Am I scared - nah! As our microbiologist says, the risk is tiny!

EUgrandma Thu 07-Dec-17 12:57:59

The joy of licking the bowl is a childhood memory I cherish, so I will remain a bowl licker smile

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