The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Cold and flu season

pumpkinpapa's picture

Cold and flu season

Ok it's cold and flu season here in Ontario and I'm curious what others do when they get hit by colds and/or the flu? Home bakers and bakeries all apply.

Do you cease all baking, wear protective apparatus (masks, gloves, etc), close up the bakery for a few days (or longer). Now being a small business owner myself I know it's wildly impractical to close up for any length of time but how have you done it or are doing it right now?

I'm nurturing starters from a distance right now :( 

dstroy's picture

aw! I hope you feel better soon! We all got hit last week too, and Floyd didn't do much baking during that time. None of us had any taste buds to enjoy anything much either though.

Floydm's picture

Nods. When I had that cold last week I was eating crackers w/ cheese and salami cubes and noticed that, without looking, I couldn't tell which was the cheese and which was the salami. I figured it wasn't worth the effort of baking if that was as little as I was going to be able to taste.

Get well.

JMonkey's picture

... because when I'm only mildly sick, but not sick enough that I don't feel like baking, I make sourdough, hoping the acids will kill any of the bad stuff.

And I wash my hands really well. So far, I've not infected anyone else ....

Susan's picture

The same thing is happening here in San Diego.  Colds and viruses everywhere.  I'm just getting over my annual cold, and am happy to say that my husband did not pick it up.  A pox on whoever passed it to me!  
So glad it's over...
SD Susan

slaughlin's picture


Right now the viruses that we are seeing are

Influenza A..high temp,sore throat,achiness,cough,watery eyes

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)...cold like symptoms with high amount of mucus production,cough,runny nose..basically the cold from hell...bad news for the 1year and under crowd...very active and persistant right now

Mycoplasma pneumonia...prolonged persistant cough...responds to macrolide based antibiotic  seeing in epidemic proportions in my area

These viruses can live on grocery cart handles, door handles etc....hand cleaning is a must


Steve your friendlly bread making nurse practitioner and physicians assistant

mountaindog's picture

When I have a bad cold, it usually means I'm also housebound, so what better way to spend the time than baking bread, my favorite indoor activity? I just wash hands thoroughly like Steve says, and figure the extreme heat of the oven will kill off any nasties in the bread dough. The starters, if they are kept in a clean environment and are healthy, I should think would be able to maintain their proper flora in the acidic environment. 

When I'm sick my husband makes me boiled chicken stock infused with lots and lots of garlic cloves to build back my immune system - even with a stuffy nose you can usually taste it, it's so potent! :-)  Feel better Pumpkinpapa!

weavershouse's picture

On Feb 1 three of our kids and their families flew in from three states. On Feb. 3 we had a birthday party for their dad. There were 50 people of all ages, happy and kissing and hugging. (We can't help it, we're Italian). Our kids left for home on Feb. 5th. By the 6th we were getting calls from everywhere in Ohio and out of state about who had what. Bad colds and flu plus strep. The airplane rides are a big part of the problem. No one is seriously ill but miserable and all are being watched carefully. Lots of nasty stuff out there. I didn't catch anything so I've been baking lots of bread to make up for all that was eaten over that happy weekend. 
Hope you feel better Pumpkinpapa. weavershouse

pumpkinpapa's picture

I can't taste anything still, sour lumpy milk tastes just like creme fraiche and my pane poilane (which never turns out anyways, too sour, not enough starter) tastes about the same as focaccia or sticky buns.

Steve I just washed my hands, before and after touching the keyboard. I'm the last out of the 5 of us to get this cold, my 2 year old had it, the 2 older kids and my wife all went through it beforehand.

Rena, if you are thinking of wearing garlic you may want to check out Ted Maczka "the garlic man" 

I'll be over this soon, I hope! 

Noche's picture

and spray it with a pint of water and two tbs of hydrogen peroxide or put it in a mister and take it to each room.

Think of your trash cans full of kleenex as a sourdough starter for flu.

In a recent test in Briton which has the super bug in all of their hospitals, a mist of hydrogen peroxide was found to - get under the beds, behind the electrical boxes, cover the floors where traffic was bringing in stuff all the time. It won out over a bunch of fancy stuff.

Echinacea and Mullien should be checked out on the web. I have used them on horses, dogs and people for quite some time with results. We have never called a doctor or gone to E.R. Not an immediate cure for the flu, but will keep it from going into complications like into your lungs.

Have a cut? This spray will - stop bleeding, not increase the pain but stop it and make the cut heal fast and not get infected. Another powerful substance for borers in fruit tree trunks and puncture wounds on people is Neem Oil. I am very impressed with it after starting to use it for powdery mildew.