The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Eeeww, disturbing find

prairiegal's picture
prairiegal

Eeeww, disturbing find

I have a Country Living Mill.  I was making a soaker for a seeded loaf this afternoon when I found something in the cracked grain that looked like half a mouse dropping.  Unfortunately, I can't say where it might have come from as there was a big mix of grains in the grinder.  I buy some grains in bulk, but my wheat I bought in 50 lb bags, and store it in mouse-proof containers... I haven't seen any mice in my house for years so I think it came with the grain, but I don't know which one - the bulk, or the wheat.  Just wanted to post in case anyone thinks I need to toss out my 50 lbs of wheat, just in case - the bulk grains are in small increments so I don't mind losing that.  But no matter where it came from, I have to say I'm rather put out.   Anyone else with a similar story?

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I can't say it would worry me to find something suspicious in my grain, it would. I guess I would start looking in my grains to see if I can find another suspicious particle. If, after a thorough inspection, nothing turned up, then I would probably just try to forget about it.


--Pamela

DerekL's picture
DerekL

Where there is man, there are rodents and cockroaches.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Or when it got wet, did it tend to fall apart?


That would lead you to the perfect sorting technique.   By submerging the grain, mouse feces would float off or break up.   A thorough wash before soaking and an extra rinse several hours into the soak might help your state of mind knowing any residue that didn't float, broke up and is washed away and will not pop up in your bread.


One more reason to wash (submerge, agitate, rub) and drain whole grains just before you use them. 


Mini


 


 

prairiegal's picture
prairiegal

Thank you for the suggestions and the sympathy.  I guess my suspicion is that the poop came in on my steel-cut oats, which were purchased in bulk.  That would be a bit more disturbing than a find in the unprocessed grains, as it would imply some questionable processing or storage facilities.


As to whether it floated, I didn't think of letting it have time!  t was in my mix of cracked grains and I picked it out right away.  I'm curious about the idea of washing the grain, though.  I haven't done that - I hadn't heard that idea before.  I want to grind at least half of my flour and don't have a dehydrator.  Is it standard practice to wash grains?


I did dump out the bulk stuff and will keep an eye out for any more leavings....

DerekL's picture
DerekL

"That would be a bit more disturbing than a find in the unprocessed grains, as it would imply some questionable processing or storage facilities"


No, not really.  As I said above - where there is man, there are rodents and cockroaches.  Expecting to never find any contaminants of this nature in your food is foolish, doubly so for unprocessed bulk grains.

prairiegal's picture
prairiegal

well, I'm from a farm, so I have an idea what you mean!  What I meant about the 'bulk' issue is in relation to a fancy expensive organic store where they have items in bulk bins.  Contaminants in there speak to lack of cleanliness at the store.  Otherwise, yeah, mice abound in my area.  My dad claims once to have caught 30 in a day, in spring, after he removed some bales from around the trailer.  And we have them in the flower bed in front of my house where I grow my strawberries.  I guess I tend to be on the queasy side, though.  I remember with horror the soup and pickles that my mother used to make from dill infested with aphids.

taramacon's picture
taramacon

I would truly like to know what it is that you found for there is some things that would be worse than a little mouse stool. There is something that is called ergot that is what caused the Salem witch trials. It can be deadly in quantity and cause you to abort in small doses. Looks much like a mouse stool. You can find photos if you do a goggle image search. Don't mean to sound scary but you need to know what you are looking at.

prairiegal's picture
prairiegal

Thank you for the information.  I will look it up.  I've been making bread though with my wheat, and have not found anything since tossing the steel-cut oats, so I'm hoping we're in the clear.  It's good, though, to know about different things to watch out for!