The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Contaminated grain?

metatron's picture

Contaminated grain?

Hello wonderful bakers!


I recently purchased five pounds of grain from a local farmer's market stand, excited to run my first real batch through my new-to-me vintage Lee mill, only to find when I got home what is most certainly rat droppings in the bag!!!

I have not found anything definitive in my searches regarding the safety of such contaminated grain. The main pathogen in rat droppings seems to be hantavirus which is contracted through inhalation, so could it be safe to simply manually separate before milling? Is there an effective washing procedure? Is it completely useless now?

Any input on the matter from you fine folks would be appreciated. 

pmccool's picture

can look a lot like rodent droppings.  Ergot in rye you definitely do not want to consume, no matter how little there may be.  Loose smut in wheat can be safely eaten.  Common, or stinking, bunt should not be consumed, although you probably wouldn't want to because of the odor.

Your best bet is probably to return the grain to the seller and ask for a refund or replacement (if they can provide cleaned grain).


Phazm's picture

Return or destroy - up to you. Enjoy!