For about a month I have been fighting with a pantry moth infestation and that got me thinking... Professional businesses (bakeries, restaurants, factories that produce milkbars or cornflakes) take in much more food than I ever will. Therefore the probability of them buying an infested product (like pantry moth-infested flour) is much higher than in case of my home kitchen. And the costs of production halting or throwing away infested food is much higher than in my case.

What precautions are taken by professional businesses to minimize the risk of pantry moth infestation? Can some of them be implemented in home kitchen?


3 Answers 3


Honestly, the top reason is going through stock quickly. My apprenticeship bakery took delivery 1X week for most grains. Milled daily.

The second strategy was tightly sealed plastic tubs.

Third, deal with infestation in early stages. isolate and destroy. It was an organic bakery so, yes, occasional uninvited nibblers.

  • I'm not sure if this is used commercially, but I would think it possible that a bakery which goes through flour a bit more slowly or worked on a delay, wanting to keep a reserve of flour on hand, might store the extra in fridges or freezers. I know people who do this at home since while flour doesn't easily go bad it may degrade in quality, which the lower temperatures help prevent (and they do help kill pests), so a commercial establishment might do the same.
    – Megha
    Feb 8, 2018 at 22:01
  • No. Not done in commercial operations. Freezers full of items needing freezing.
    – Pat Sommer
    Feb 10, 2018 at 4:03

I don’t know what professional kitchen use, but I solved my pantry infestation problems by storing all my grains in mason jars. Even if some of the grain I bring in the house is infested, the mason jar contains the infestation preventing it from spreading to other grains. My friend stores her grains in her wine fridge the temperature is cold enough to keep most pests dormant.

  • While OT, certainly true: Truly air and water tight containers are one of the best ways to weather pest problems. Feb 5, 2018 at 17:45

I don't really know what professional cooks use, but I can tell the rules my mom goes by:

  1. Keep all your grains in airtight glass containers.

  2. Don't buy more than you can consume in a month.

  3. If you don't finish using your flour/grains within three months, throw it out and buy a new one.

  4. Add tons of dried bay leaves, i.e. cover the bottom of glass jars and stick some at the very top. Pantry moth hates the scent of bay leaves.

  5. In Asia, they add red hot chili (or whatever it is) peppers (dried) to rice to prevent infestation.

Hope this helps.

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