Health & Medical Food & Drink

Facts on How to Handle Mold on Food

We've all experienced it; food that has been kept too long in the refrigerator now sports a furry coat, and now we wonder if mold on food is always bad or can it be saved? There are certain types of mold that commonly make their homes on foodstuffs.
Alternaria, Botrytis, Fusarium, Penicillium, Rhizopus and more are examples of airborne mold spores that make their way to food items that are moist.
There, they set up housekeeping; reproducing as the mold on food items such as meats, breads, cheeses and others.
Sometimes with some types of mold, growing mold on food like cheese actually is a beneficial thing.
Most times, however, the food item should be promptly discarded.
Moisture and warmth provide the perfect environment for the growth of mold on food.
White bread, for example that is kept within a bread drawer or bin is a prime candidate for green, fuzzy spots to begin to develop.
Fruits that are piled in a bowl and displayed on a counter top can also fall victim to the spores which become airborne to find a new home.
Even in the grocery store, fruits and vegetables mounded in large containers are likely to develop mold.
Some molds are not as finicky about temperature as others.
In the dark recesses of your refrigerator, pushed back where no one ventures, could be where the last wizened tomato exists; now wearing white, fuzzy mold spots.
Sometimes it could be just the juice of a food; it isn't always just mold on food that can be found in the refrigerator.
The pull out drawers where perhaps an orange, tomato or lettuce has gone bad, leaking juice which collects in the corner; mold spores growing on the surface.
There are times, however, that mold on food is not cause for throwing the item away.
Hard cheeses, for example, are able to have the mold sliced cleanly away and the remainder is still edible.
This is because the "roots" of mold spores cannot penetrate dense foods.
No part of soft cheeses, like cream cheese, can be used once mold is discovered.
Even fruits which show small spots of mold can be trimmed carefully away and the good part still eaten.
Certain hard salamis and hams which have been dry cured may show signs of mold; they can simply be scrubbed off as this is a normal condition.
Mold on food such as lunchmeats, hotdogs or bacon, or any cooked meats, poultry and fish must be thrown away.
The rule of thumb should be "when in doubt, throw it out".
This is the only sure way of knowing your health will be preserved when dealing with mold on food.

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