or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Pastries & Baking › Becoming a baker with asthma?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Becoming a baker with asthma?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello. I'm 21 and I have really bad asthma.

 

I'm thinking of enrolling in a culinary program and becoming a baker, however, people have told me that being a baker is a bad career choice for someone who's asthmatic. Because of the dust and flower associated with baking.

 

Do you know any bakers with asthma and do you think it would be a problem for me in the long run?

post #2 of 8
Hi Lemonhoward

Do you bake at home? I would suggest starting on that path before you jump into anything. If it effects your health at home I would imagine that it would be a lot worse if you bake professionally.

Goldi

Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness

AUGUSTE ESCOFFIER

Ravioli
(5 photos)
  
Reply

Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness

AUGUSTE ESCOFFIER

Ravioli
(5 photos)
  
Reply
post #3 of 8

I'm not sure that's a good way to determine whether or not being a baker will affect your asthma, since you'll be baking at a much greater capacity than you ever would at home..

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I don't seem to have any problems when I bake a single cake or a batch of muffins, at home. But then again, that's nothing compared to how much baking professional bakers do.

post #5 of 8

Well , first of all i would consult a doctor/specialist in asthma that can suggest you some tricks/method.

 

 

The first thing i would think of is a mask with filter for dust :) 

 

But i am just supposing!

 

post #6 of 8

Each person with asthma has his/her own set of asthma inducers and asthma triggers.

 

A mask with the best filter will not always work espcially if the person is hypersensitive

 

Talk with a physician.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #7 of 8

I started my career as a bread baker and then moved to pastry working many early morning hours and long days amid huge bins of flour and such. Being slightly asthmatic, I didn't have too much of a problem, though it seemed that I always had a mild case of bronchitis.

 

Once I moved away from a flour-filled atmosphere, it got better, but in the main kitchen, air borne grease and oil particles were still a problem. 

Garde Manger was much better, though I didn't like it as much.

 

Now I have a son who has very bad asthma. When he was younger, we had to rush him the ER 3-4 times a year because he just couldn't breathe. Knowing how sensitive he is to airborne dust, pollens, mold spores and such and how severe the attacks were that these particles trigger, I would advise you against pursuing professional baking without having a serious talk with your doctor and probably a pulmonologist too.

If your heart is set on it, they can probably advise you on the best way to avoid triggers and devise strategies to keep your lungs healthy. 

 

Keep in mind that baking at home is a whole different animal than baking in a large volume professional bakery. Every time you dump a 50 pound sack of flour into a storage bin, you get a dusting. Same with sugar. You will come home with flour in your nose, ears, hair, clothes and caked on your skin and under your fingernails.

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply
post #8 of 8

It really depends on 4 things: The severity of your asthma, the volume of flour being moved, and the quality of the ventilation in the bakery, and what your job is. 

 

The bake room at my last place was a decent sized room, normal height ceilings and the room was maybe 30x40'. The ventilation was standard building code quality, there was never a constant cloud of flour hanging in the air and it was what I would think is normal for most places. We used about 600-800 pounds of flour on weekdays, 200-400 more on weekends, and sometimes more for whatever reason. 

 

When I started working I had no problems at all ( I have no asthma or breathing/lung issues whatsoever) and none of the guys that benched or worked the oven full-time had any issues (actually, one guy, but his favorite spot on the bench was closest to the mixer) but when I started working the mixer full-time is when it went downhill. I don't think it was more than 6 weeks after I started that I first noticed trouble breathing, but it would go away pretty quickly. After a few more months it got the point where I couldn't sleep, just couldn't breath, my nose was always clogged and my chest felt like I ate a bag of sand. I never had any problems while working, just when I got home and it would last for 4 to 6 hours before clearing a bit. 

 

Changing over to wearing face masks (the good 3M paint/particle masks) while mixing made a huge difference, but didn't 100% solve the problem. I did make changes to how I mixed, the way I handled the bags, and autolysed every batch that was over 100 pounds (One benefit of autolyse is that when the mixer kicks to high gear it eliminates almost any dry flour from being blown back out) but with that my chest and nose would would be fine on Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday I'd feel a little tight, and by Thursday it get back up to audible wheezing....thankfully we were on 10 hour/4 day shifts so it was manageable.  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pastries & Baking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Pastries & Baking › Becoming a baker with asthma?