It is tempting to keep bread that has a few mould spots and just tear them away and then eat it. After all, it’s ok to do it with cheese. But food safety experts say it’s not safe to eat any part of mouldy bread. Because it’s a soft food, the roots of the mould spread throughout. Just because it isn’t visible in certain parts doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain any.
Mould is the shape fungi can take. It forms on decaying or damp organic matter. If a slice of bread has mould spots, but other parts are clear, toss that slice away. If certain slices look completely clear of mould spots, they may be safe to eat. However, you should store them separately from other slices that are contaminated. You can tear some slices to see if there are any threads within the slice.
Some moulds are safe to eat. Gorgonzola cheese uses a specific mould that is safe for consumption. In addition, when solid foods get mould, it’s safe to cut off the contaminated part and eat the rest. With dry-aged meats, hard cheeses, vegetables, or fruits, you can cut out the part with any growth and eat the rest of it. This is because the roots of the mould network don’t spread as easily in solid foods.
How to remain food safe
All soft foods, lunch meats, and liquid foods should be tossed out when they grow mould. The spores in mould can be airborne. They can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Research shows they can release mycotoxins which can be dangerous to people. In rare cases, it can also cause seizures.
You should also throw contaminated food away to ensure the spores don’t spread to other foods. Some foods are no longer salvageable such as jams, peanut butter, or yoghurt. When the fungus has invaded the food, it becomes a breeding ground for even more dangerous toxins.
Cut the food with a buffer of at least an inch when eating hard foods. Ensure the knife used is clean and washed immediately after to prevent cross-contamination. If you open a container with strawberries, and some containing mould, discard the spoiled ones and clean the remaining ones.
The easiest way to ensure the food remains fresh and safe for eating is to ensure it doesn’t reach the point of growing mould. Buy foods that have a far-off expiry date. If the date is closer to when you bought it, try eating it all before it grows fungi. Inspect foods bought from shops and ensure they are not mouldy. Refrigerate or freeze what can be stored in the fridge. Ensure the fridge is cleaned and sanitised regularly to prevent the growth of any spores.
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Mould likes warm and damp environments. However, the spores can also grow in cold and dry environments. They can also grow on salty foods.
What happens if you eat mould
Accidentally eating mould isn’t a death sentence. If you don’t have a compromised immune system, mould won’t affect you severely. Prolonged exposure to mycotoxins lead to accumulation in your liver and kidneys which can cause health problems. Large quantities are the ones most likely to cause illness. If, after eating a little you experience more than mild nausea, like excess vomiting, seek medical attention immediately.
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