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What happens if you eat mold?



The appearance of greenish or blue spots on slices of bread, cheese or cured meats, and vegetables, indicates the formation of mold. But what happens if you accidentally eat it? If you take a bite of moldy food, there is no need to worry. This is extremely common, as mold spores are everywhere. Let's see in detail which foods can be consumed and when it is possible to eliminate the moldy part and eat the product safely. Furthermore, to avoid the onset of mould, it is a good idea to adopt purchasing behaviors that aim for the right quantities and correct food storage in sanitized environments.

Eating mold: consequences

There are no adverse or lethal consequences related to the consumption of food mold. If the symptoms persist, it is advisable to consult your doctor who will be able to prescribe the correct therapy.

The “best known” molds

Mold is present in everyday food. It is no coincidence that various foods are prepared using natural molds. Some “well-known” examples are those of cheese, soy sauce, vinegar, yogurt etc. Cheese is made from common molds such as the strains of Penicillium, just think of gorgonzola. Traditional soy sauces and vinegars use Whoa mushroom, to ferment and create that classic sour, sour and sometimes sweet taste.

What happens if you eat mold

If your immune system is healthy, you should not experience any particular adverse reactions or discomfort even from ingesting small quantities of food with mold. Although molds (i.e. microscopic fungi) – which find their way onto plant and animal products after being transported there by air, water or insects – can cause problematic consequences such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, they are not lethal. After all, molds are supposed to be present on certain foods, including hams and cured cheeses like brie and camembert. In many of these cases, the mold is totally safe to eat, experts say.

The presence of the characteristic green or white floury mold that appears on fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy products does not cause discomfort as it is harmful or harmful, but simply due to the bad taste, but not due to a particular toxin contained in it.

There is an exception: if the consumed mold produces a particular type called mycotossin, then it could cause liver and kidney problems. It is typically found in cereal and nut crops, but also in celery, grape juice, apples and other products. However, small quantities are unlikely to cause any risk. Experts recommend that you still contact your doctor if the symptoms intensify beyond nausea. Most bacteria will not be able to survive with gastric juices.

Risks of consuming moldy food

It is very rare for serious consequences to occur due to mold ingestion. However, symptoms may appear that include persistent nausea and vomiting – in this case it is a good idea to call your doctor who will prescribe anti-nausea medications. In some cases, people experience allergic reactions to certain molds, which can contribute to respiratory problems. Mold cannot survive in the stomach because the environment is too acidic. Many human diseases are caused by fungal infections, on the skin and respiratory system. However, these are not truly associated with eating moldy foods, whether the mold was intentionally used to ferment a food product or not.

Is it enough to eliminate mold?

These foods should be throw away if moldy:

These foods can be eaten anyway, eliminating the part with the mold:

Is it enough to simply eliminate mold from food? The answer is not universal: it depends on the food. The reason lies in the “roots” of mold, so sometimes it is not enough to eliminate the slice of cured meat or cheese that has stains and fuzz typical of mold, to continue eating that food safely. When toxins are present, they are able to infiltrate the secondary layers of the food, therefore the food is unsafe and therefore to be avoided in its entirety.

However, mold cannot penetrate some hard cheeses, hard salami, and firm fruits and vegetables as easily as softer foods.

How to prevent mold on food

  • Do not leave food in hot, humid places
  • Buy food in small quantities so that mold does not have time to grow
  • Cover the food with cling film
  • Quickly place food in the refrigerator
  • Eat fresh foods within three days
  • Clean the refrigerator regularly
  • Keep your home's humidity level below 40 percent
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