Grain sanitation program


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Grain sanitation program
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11 p. : ;
United States -- Food and Drug Administration
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Grain contamination   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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University of Florida
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aleph - 027984497
oclc - 71087829
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rI :

of the Fu rd Drug r..ration

The Problem ..................... 2
The Law ........................ 2
Why a Clean Wheat Program? ... 3
The Program .................... 4
Contamination Levels for
Court Action .................... 5
To the Farmer: What This
M eans to You... ..... ............ 6
To the Elevator Operator:
What This Means to You......... 7
How To Examine Your Grain..... 9



Contamination levels for court action stated under
"Carload Sampling" in Section 4 of this pamphlet
are effective for the period ending June 30, 1956.

The Problem
Clean foods have been sought by mankind
from the earliest times. Instinctively we shun
that which is spoiled or contaminated. In the
Bible we read of ancient dietary laws that were
really sanitary precautions.
The packaged food products of today are the
cleanest foods of all history. There continue to
be, however, serious problems of food sanita-
tion, particularly with bulk-handled raw food
commodities. Outstanding among these is the
problem of keeping food grains from being con-
taminated by such pests as insects, birds, and
rodents. All who are concerned with storage,
shipment, and processing of the "staff of life"
inevitably must come face to face with this
Our object must be to progressively improve
the sanitary handling of grain so as to keep
cereal foods as clean as possible.

1. The Law

Our national pure food law, the Federal Food,
Drug, and Cosmetic Act, requires that foods
shipped in interstate commerce be wholesome
and clean, and handled at all times under sani-
tary conditions to prevent contamination with
filth. This law applies to our food grains, and to
cereal foods prepared from them, as well as
other foods.

2. Why a Clean Wheat Program?

Wheat is our No. 1 food grain. For this
reason a program of education and law enforce-
ment has been started to promote the sanitary
handling of wheat.
A natural reaction of farmers and grain han-
dlers is, "Why not let the flour mills take care of
this problem-they have laboratories to test the
grain and equipment for cleaning it?"
The truth is that mill equipment and cleaning
procedures do not remove all of the extraneous
matter left by insects and rodents in the grain.

This means that we cannot have the clean
cereal foods which the consumer expects and
which the law requires, unless we start with
clean grain and keep it clean.
There is an enormous loss of grain that is
eaten and contaminated by rats, mice, birds,
and insects. These public enemies are esti-
mated to destroy as much as 10 percent of the
entire crop of food grains. Savings from pre-
ventive measures will more than pay the costs
of clean-up, screening, rat-proofing, bin sprays,
grain protectants, fumigants, and rodenticides.


The microscope reveals insect fragments and tell-
tale rodent hairs in samples of flour milled from
contaminated grain.


3. The Program

The Food and Drug Administration's cereal
sanitation program actually began shortly after
the passage of the current law in 1938, with
the inspection of bakeries, macaroni plants, and
flour and cornmeal mills. Most firms in these
industries are doing an excellent job of pre-
venting contamination in their plants. As
sanitation improved at the manufacturing level,
the program was gradually extended to include
Thus, while attention to sanitation in bak-
eries and flour mills continues, we are now
well into the WHEAT SANITATION phase
of the long-term program. This consists of
two parts:
ELEVATOR INSPECTION.-To check on sani-
tary conditions in elevators and whether proper
care is being exercised to prevent contamina-
tion. This began in the spring of 1952. Opera-
tors of violative elevators may be prosecuted
or enjoined from further violations, and con-
taminated grain shipped from such elevators
may be seized.

/. :. I..

What happens when grain storage is neglected-a
family of mice nesting on top of the wheat.

CARLOAD SAMPLING.-To check on the clean-
liness of wheat for food use, moving in the
normal channels of interstate commerce. Cars
which are heavily contaminated are seized by
Federal court order, and upon court order may
be diverted to animal feed or non-food uses.

: _. .-, ... '" .. .. .'.,

FDA inspector sampling a car of wheat. Five
probing are taken from each car.

4. Contamination of Wheat Which
Will Result in Court Action
ELEVATOR INSPECTION.-Under the elevator
inspection program, elevators are judged not
only by the amount of filth detectable in the
wheat they ship, but also by the sanitary con-
dition of the elevator and the care taken to
protect grain from contamination. Inspectors
check on such factors as rodent- and bird-
proofing, fumigation practices, regular cleaning
of bins, condition of stored grain, and care
taken to segregate unfit wheat.
Continued operation of a filthy elevator or
deliberate mixing of contaminated grain with
clean grain are offenses which may lead to
court action.
CARLOAD SAMPLING.-Effective through June

30, 1956, wheat sampled under the program
will be seized, regardless of the sanitary condi-
tion of the elevator from which it came, if it
1. More than 2 rat or mouse excreta pel-
lets per liquid pint of grain; or
2. Two percent or more of insect-damaged
kernels, as determined by methods pre-
sented under the Official Grain Stand-
ards of the United States for wheat.

5. To the Farmer:
do not ship your grain directly in interstate
commerce. However, you are key men in the
sanitation program because, if this grain be-
comes contaminated in your bins, some of this
contamination may carry right on through to
somebody's table. Good sanitation further
along the line cannot accomplish the goal of
this program unless you deliver clean grain.
The country elevator operator who ships
your wheat in interstate commerce will be
violating the law if he buys unfit grain from
you for human food use. He is therefore going

The wheat from each probe is thoroughly mixed
in this machine called a Jones Divider so that the
sample will be truly representative.

to be more critical than heretofore of the sani-
tary quality of the grain you bring in, and he
will need your cooperation in order to discharge
the responsibility placed on him by the law.
Do not expect him to pay food grain prices for
grain which he cannot legally ship as food.
To be eligible under the loan and support
program of the U. S. Department of Agricul-
ture, grain must meet the current Food and
Drug Administration requirements.
Protect your grain by taking these precau-
Store in clean, weather-tight, properly
ventilated structures.
Keep out rats, mice, and birds with sheet-
metal or screening on all openings.
Do not allow old grain to become a breed-
ing ground for insects. Clean out com-
bines, trucks, and bins before use; use
bin sprays, and fumigate when neces-
Do not mix insect-infested grain with new
Before turning or adding grain or removing
grain from a bin, examine surface of the grain
already present for rodent or bird excreta. If
contamination is found, carefully shovel off the
top 6 inches of grain, and more if necessary,
and use this contaminated grain for feed. But
don't. neglect real preventive measures to rid
your premises of the pests!

6. To the Elevator Operator:
WHAT THIS MEANS TO You.-If the farmer,
or another elevator, delivers clean grain to you,
your job is to protect it from contamination
and pass it on to the terminal elevator or mill
in a clean and wholesome condition. If you
are offered and buy unfit wheat it is your
responsibility to see that this grain is binned
separately for feed or some non-food use.

If you permit wheat to become contaminated
in your bins, or if you mix unfit grain with clean
food grain, the efforts of the farmer, other ele-
vator operators, the miller and the baker to
keep the grain clean will be futile.
The extra care you give in the handling of
food grains is repaid in the care required by
the law from others who prepare and handle
the foods consumed by your family.
It is your responsibility to:
Exercise care in the purchase of wheat and
segregate that which is unfit.
Keep your elevator free from rats, mice,
birds and insects, and from refuse and
hiding places in which these pests may
live and multiply.
Inspect your grain regularly for insect
infestation and fumigate whenever
Clean out boxcars and trucks before load-
ing clean grain so as to get rid of old,
insect-infested grain remaining in the
car. If car cannot be cleaned it should
be rejected.
What to look for when examining grain for sani-
tation-rodent pellets and insect-damaged ker-

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The pellet count is made by spreading the grain
on a piece of white paper.

7. How to Examine Your Grain

determine whether grain has become con-
taminated by rat or mouse excreta pellets
simply by spreading a sample, a little at a time,
on a piece of clean white paper, in a good light,
and looking for the pellets. The official
method calls for the use of one-pint (liquid
measure) portions of grain. In the case of
carload lots, the Food and Drug Administra-
tion examines 1 pint from each of 5 separate
probings taken from different parts of the car.
FOR INSECT DAMAGE.-Heavy insect infesta-
tion in grain is readily apparent. Watch for
kernels with insect holes and feeding damage,
along with the adult insects, alive or dead.
There may be heavy infestation inside the
kernels, which may not be so apparent at the
terminal elevator or mill if the insect bodies
and grossly damaged kernels have been re-
moved by screening, blowing, etc.
First, make a casual inspection of a few
handfuls of grain from various parts of the lot.
Only very obviously and badly damaged grain

Insect damage is determined by weighing the
damaged kernels taken from a 50-gram sample.

is being proceeded against under the present
program, unless an insanitary elevator charge
is also involved. If on casual inspection a
considerable amount of insect damage is ap-
parent, you may estimate the percent of
damage by a kernel count on a small sample,
segregating the individual kernels showing
insect damage.
The official inspection procedure calls for
use of a 50-gram portion, and for weighing
the damaged kernels. Since the damaged
kernels will weigh less than sound kernels, the
percent damage by count will ordinarily be
considerably higher than by weight. There-
fore, if the grain shows over 2-percent damage
by count, the determination should be checked
by the official procedure. Balances suitable
for these weighing are available at reasonable
cost. Consult your county agent.
If any live insects or other evidence of
active infestation is found, be sure to fumigate
and take precautions to check this infestation
and to prevent it from spreading into other


8. For Further Information

Consult your county agents and State ex-
tension services for additional information on
this subject. The following additional printed
matter on how to protect your grain from con-
tamination is available upon request. Ask your
county agent, or write direct to the agency
U. S. Department of Agriculture
Washington 25, D. C.
Farmers' Bulletin 1260-Stored Grain Pests
Farmers' Bulletin 2071-You Can Store Grain
Safely on the Farm
Leaflet 331-Drying Shelled Corn and Small
Grain with Heated Air
Leaflet 332-Drying Shelled Corn and Small
Grain with Unheated Air
Leaflet 345-Insects in Farm Stored Wheat
EC-24-Insect Control in the Country Wheat
Station Bulletin 425-Control of Stored Grain
Insects in the North Central States

U. S. Department of the Interior
Fish and Wildlife Service
Washington 25, D. C.
Reprint-Timely Films and Publications on
Rodent Control, by John C. Jones (Pest
Control, July 1954)
Wildlife Leaflet 349-Control of House Mice
(October 1953)
Leaflet WL-337-Characteristics of Common
Rodenticides (January 1952)
Circular 22-Rats-Let's Get Rid of Them
Conservation Bulletin 19-Rat Proofing Build-
ings and Premises

U. S. Department of Health, Education, and
Food and Drug Administration
Washington 25, D. C.
Grain Elevator Check List

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June 1955

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