While mold growth in buildings and homes are common issues requiring professional mold testing and treatment, did you ever think about mold in your food supply? There are over 300,000 different species of mold fungi, some of which can be safe and beneficial, while others can be seriously dangerous and harmful. It is important to take proper precautions when it comes to mold growth in foods before consuming them. Here are some guidelines to help you determine if any food with signs of mold is safe to eat.
Softer foods such as fresh produce, breads, meats, and poultry are susceptible to mold growth because of their high moisture content. Signs of mold growth can be a foul smell, gray or green fuzz, or black spots that appear on the food. If you notice any signs of mold growth on these types of foods, they should immediately be discarded. Mold can easily spread through these types of foods, penetrating far deeper than the noticeable signs on the surface. Higher levels of toxic molds including Aspergillus Cladosporium, and Alterneria, can cause adverse reactions from coughing and wheezing, to whole body infections. Discard any foods soft foods such as yogurts, jams, fresh meats, breads, produce, and prepared dishes or casseroles if they show any signs of mold growth.
In some cases, foods with mold can be safe to consume if the proper precautions are taken. Certain cheeses are actually known for their presence of mold such as Bleu, Gorgonzola, and Brie. Other foods such as hard cheeses, cured meats like salami, and hardy raw vegetables such as cabbage and carrots, can still be consumed if they have signs of mold growth. Mold cannot penetrate their hard surfaces, keeping growth only where visible signs are shown. Be sure to cut out the mold and plus and additional inch border around where the mold was growing before consuming. Do not allow the knife to touch the mold directly in order to avoid cross contamination.
When in Doubt, Throw it Out
If you are skeptical of whether or not a food is safe to eat, you should always throw it away. It is better to be overly cautious than to risk suffering serious illness or health problems from unsafe foods. Following the guidelines above can help you decide, but whenever you’re in doubt, throw it out.
In addition to foods, mold in your home can cause unwanted and serious health problems if left untreated. For professional mold testing, call the experts at Purely Green Environmental. 888-291-3773.