Avoiding mold on food is very important, especially for those who are allergic to it. Seeing mold on any food items can be disturbing. But the question remains, how much mold is too much?
Mold is a type of fungus that grows on some foods. You can avoid mold by storing food neatly and carefully, not leaving it out in the open, and replacing it with fresh produce when it’s been sitting out for a long time.
Mold on Food: How to Prevent and Get Rid of It
How to prevent mold on food? There’s nothing more infuriating than food going bad before you ate it. And that happens a lot! Many food items develop those fur-like black, green or white blotches on their surface, which grosses us out even if we look at them. But, what exactly is that thing, resting on your favourite food after stealthily capturing it? It is a mold.
Molds are fungi that live on food and plants. They are threadlike and produce spores that can be transported by air, water or insects and give molds their characteristic colour. Molds thrive in warm and humid climates. Tiny spores of mold are always present in the surrounding air, but they are harmless. Once these spores reach the surface of the foods, they grow into molds.
There are many types of molds that can grow on our food stored for a long time; the most common include Aspergillus and Penicillium, and Botrytis, which you might see as a fur on your strawberries.
Is food mold harmful to health?
According to consulting nutritionist, “Molds may cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems and sometimes, may produce a poisonous substance called mycotoxins that make people sick.”
There may be times that you accidentally eat moldy food. Don’t fret. Many times, molds with low potency get digested and then excreted from the body without you even noticing it. But that will happen only if you have a very strong immune system. So summing up, yes, most kinds of molds are harmful and you should always steer clear of them.
How to prevent mold on food?
Mold comes into being to break down decaying matter. So, if mold takes residence in a particular food; that simply means it has gone bad. Molds can grow on cooked food too, as they tolerate salt and sugar. Food with mold on it should be discarded in a covered trash can after wrapping it properly.
However, certain hard foods like carrots, capsicum etc. and hard cheeses – can be reused after cutting off the mouldy portion. The toxins cannot penetrate stiff structures. Make sure the knife does not touch the mold, and you cut at least an inch away from the mold. All other foods like soft fruits and vegetables, soft cheeses and breads – with mold – must be discarded. Foods with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface, which may not be even visible.
Does that mean moldy foods should not be consumed?
Don’t cook the foods with molds to salvage them. Molds are heat resistant and so may not be destroyed during the cooking process. The safest way to escape the ill-effects of mold is to just toss it away.
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What happens if you eat food with mold?
The short answer is no, you’re probably not going to die from eating mold; you’ll digest it like any other food, and as long as you’ve got a relatively healthy immune system, the most you’ll experience is some nausea or vomiting because of the taste/idea of what you’ve just eaten.
Can you cut mold off food and still eat it?
You should definitely toss your moldy bread in the trash. There are a four types of foods you can still eat as long as you cut off the mold, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
What will happen if I ate moldy bread?
The mold roots can quickly spread through bread, though you can’t see them. Eating moldy bread could make you sick, and inhaling spores may trigger breathing problems if you have a mold allergy.
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