The Truth About Mold on Food

The Truth About Mold on Food

The Truth About Mold on Food

 

While mold may seem harmless, it’s important to know the truth about mold on food! Can it harm you? Should you toss it? We’ll take a look at some potential concerns, which foods mold quickly, and some tips for you to follow.

Imagine, you just finished the best workout you have had in a long time. You worked up a sweat, you are dreaming of that perfectly juicy Florida orange waiting for you when you get home. Only to find, when you open the refrigerator, utter disappointment. That once perfectly plump, bright and juicy orange is now shriveled, fuzzy, and green. You may want to discard the moldy peel and eat the rest of the orange. The peel protects the fruit, right? Wrong. Mold on peels can penetrate beneath into the flesh of the fruit! As well as spread microscopic spores another 2cm away from the visibly affected area.

How careful are you with the food you ingest? It may be time to learn the truth about mold on food.

The Truth About Peels

While it may be tempting to remove the peel barrier and eat the fruit, as mentioned above, don’t. This does not remove the risk of ingesting mold. When mold is present on fruits with softer peels like oranges and bananas, you’ll want to throw them away. Because the mold can penetrate this barrier and infest the fruit. Firm fruits such as pineapple have a tougher barrier. That may protect the fruit flesh from minor mold growths. Cutting away the affected areas, cutting an extra 2-2.5cm of non-visible mold, could be safe to eat. But treat these as a case by case scenario. When in doubt, throw it out!

Finally, for fruits such as the avocado with a tough skin but easy to peel, discarding may be the safest choice. While some outside dangers may stop at this barrier, molds can still breakthrough. And infect the fruit underneath. For fruits with a peel, it can be a tricky game, but remaining cautious is always most important!

Foods That Mold Fast

Mold needs water, nutrition, and oxygen to grow. All these necessities, we find in food, which is why our food can become moldy so easily. Storage containers block the amount of oxygen provided to the food. This will have a significant effect on the time frame that mold takes hold of food. Food that has a high-water content will mold faster than others. This is because mold draws from the moisture content for growth. Fruits and berries, cucumbers, and bell peppers are all high-water content produce. These will mold before other foods in the refrigerator or on the counter. Bread molds faster when stored at room temperature than it will in the refrigerator.

Health Concerns Of Ingesting Moldy Food

The effects of mold around the home differ from person to person. This difference in reaction is due to the individual immune response each person has. If a person is allergic to mold, then the reaction will be more severe. They’ll experience symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, or even vomiting. If a person doesn’t have mold allergies, ingesting molds can still cause unwanted illness. They may experience irritation of the respiratory, urinary, and gastrointestinal systems. While some molds are allergenic, other molds produce poisonous mycotoxins. At times, this can become fatal to some people.

Tips For Preventing Mold Growth On Food

No one wants wasted food, so the best way to avoid this is by preventing mold growth in the kitchen!

· Consume early, Don’t Over Shop: Having too much food purchased at one time leaves you with a short window to consume. You’ll want to eat it before it gets moldy. Shop for a reasonable amount at a time and try and eat at home more than out when you do. This shopping strategy will help you consume your food before it goes bad and it has a financial perk to it as well!

· Keep It Cool: Keep food, especially moist and soft foods, such as fruits and breads, in the refrigerator. To keep foods better longer, freeze it! Mold prefers warmer moist climates and will take longer to invade food in the fridge.

· Heat It: For preserving fruits, jams, or jellies, boiling water baths are a safe practice. Depending on what you are canning, the time of the water bath will vary. This technique will help keep out molds as well as bacteria for a longer shelf life.

· Clean Clean Clean: As annoying as one more task is to your to-do list, keep a clean kitchen! This will greatly impact the effect of mold on your food and your home. Keep the counters and appliances clean. This includes the rubber seal of the refrigerator, which can grow mold unseen for quite some time. Keep your moist fabrics such as dishcloths, sponges, mops, and sponges clean. That musty smell they produce after some time is a sign it is harboring mold. If the item does not look or smell clean after washing, it’s time to replace it.

We hope this information proves to be helpful in your day to day living. While living around mold is inevitable, there are practical things we can do. Applying a little bit of knowledge about food and mold can go a long way and keep you healthy too!

Though mold growing on food is a common occurrence, mold growing in your home, outside of being on food, is not. If you see or smell anything that seems odd or musty, don’t wait to have that investigated further. Mold can be very sneaky and you could have an issue lurking in places that you are unable to see. Give us a call at Mold Inspectors of Florida today. Our certified inspectors will do a visual inspection, and if necessary, take samples. We’ll provide you with an extensive comprehensive report of our findings in 72 hours or less!

Call us at (239) 233-1705 or contact us online!

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The Colors Of Food Mold

The Colors Of Food Mold

The Colors of Food Mold

Have you ever found mold growing on your food and wondered if it was safe to eat? Have you questioned if you should keep some of the food if the mold wasn’t covering it all? In this article, we’ll go over the different colors of mold often found on food and answer these questions!

When we hear the word “mold” around food, we assume the green fuzzy fungi that appear on produce. This mold also develops on bread when we forget to eat it in time. Yet, while green and white are the typical colors found on food, there are many other colors of mold that can grow.

Black Mold

Homeowners are watching out for the infamous “toxic black mold” or Stachybotrys Chartarum. But, when it comes to black mold on food, there are plenty of non-toxic molds as well. The most common is Rhizopus Stolonifera, also known as black bread mold. As the name suggests, this mold is often found on bread. Other black molds appear on the rubber seal of the refrigerator. Should you find this mold on your appliance, it doesn’t mean you have black mold in your home. But, it is best to discard any food affected by the mold as well as wash the affected appliance.

Pink Mold

Actual pink mold is often on bread and baked goods. Pink mold can cause respiratory infections. Additionally, it causes gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections. More often than not, when a pink appearance is present on food, it isn’t mold at all. Instead, it is bacteria growing and invading your food. In either case, it’s best to throw out any food with unwanted growth.

White Mold

White molds may be in your purposefully or accidentally. Some white molds are grown on the outside of cheeses, such as bloomy rind cheese. Unfortunately, white mold is fuzzy and not safe to eat. It’s often growing on berries and other fruits and vegetables. This fuzzy mold means the plant has spoiled and is no longer suitable to eat.

White mold comes with a complicated dilemma. Many molds go through a phase of white before developing the spores that give the mold their actual color. What may appear white one day may turn red or blue the next. Unless the mold was purposefully grown on the food, assume it is toxic and discard it immediately.

Green Mold

This mold is the typical fuzzy green mold you find on your citrus fruits and breads. The most common of these species invading your pantry is Cladosporium. For people with mold allergies, the potent smell of this mold releases can be irritating. It may cause wheezing, coughing, or vomiting. For others without mold allergies, the look and smell are unpleasant. Cladosporium produces mycotoxins, which are dangerous to your health. Avoid touching the green molded foods. Wrap them in plastic when discarding to stop spores from spreading. Discarding foods nearby may also be a wise choice.

Orange Mold

Orange molds are most slimy in texture and can have bacteria close by. This mold is often found near a lot of bacteria and can cause respiratory problems. Orange mold may grow on bread or cheeses but can be on wood as well. Eating food infected with orange mold is less dangerous than others. But, the risk of ingesting bacteria is very high.

Red Mold

There are various strains of red molds within the fungal kingdom. Yet, most red mold on food is a mold called Neurospora. Neurospora and other red molds themselves may not be toxic when ingested. But, there are plenty of molds that appear red or grow in proximity to red molds that could be toxigenic. It’s best to treat all red molds on foods with caution and avoid ingesting.

Blue Mold

Most strains of blue mold are not harmful. Some blue molds classify as a member of the Penicillium family. This mold can produce a medicine called Penicillin. Blue molds on bread and those used to cultivate blue cheese are strains of Penicillium. Blue mold on bread is unsafe for consumption and indicates the food spoiled. The blue mold used in blue cheese lacks oxygen and is safe for consumption. But only when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The same strain of mold can produce mycotoxins when exposed to air.

We hope this article has shed light on what you may find growing on your food and how to handle it! Here at Mold Inspectors of Florida, we pride ourselves in over a decade of mold experience! We love helping our community by offering matchless quality in our inspections. If you suspect mold may be growing in your home and would like to know for sure, give us a call!

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