The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Rye and ergot

tekknolagi's picture

Rye and ergot

I have some rye flour that has been sitting on my shelf for maybe 8 months. It has not been airtight, nor has it been refrigerated. I have some questions:

1. Is this dangerous? If there was no ergot on the flour before (it's Bob's Red Mill, so I assume there was not), could it have developed since then?

2. Should I toss the bag? I hear it can go rancid.

I've just made two rye loaves and got a concerned question from my mother.

plevee's picture

If the rye wasn't on the grain before it was milled - and if it's BRM then it certainly wasn't - it's almost certainly not on the flour. I think it's safe to eat.


tekknolagi's picture

Thanks, Patsy, that's good to know. The flour does not smell off and the bread itself is not moldy. I'll let it sit for 24h and then we'll break it open!

kendalm's picture

Kinda like mushrooms and could cause hallucinations ! 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

The other is less so. Let's put it this way... If there is ergot pray for the hallucinations. 

Can ergot grow on grain (not only rye is susceptible but it is more common in rye) after harvesting? If one buys wholegrains or flour and they're stored in an unopened packet they might go rancid if well past the sell buy date but I'm not sure if ergot will be a problem. When they're growing fields can be infected but there's a procedure to make sure it doesn't get into the food chain, grains are washed and stored correctly. Buy the time you get it in a packet and you keep it in a cupboard I highly doubt it'll become infected.