What to Do if You Ate Mold: Is it Dangerous for the Body and What Foods Can Be Saved

A humid, warm environment is a favorite place for mold to grow. The fungus can affect both the outer and inner surfaces of food, so sometimes you can’t see it, only taste it.

Why mold is dangerous

Often, when you try an already spoiled product, you can get off with only unpleasant taste sensations. However, in some cases, the fungus can cause allergic reactions and food poisoning, especially if it grows in the company of pathogenic salmonella and E. coli.

You should seek medical attention in case of vomiting, fever, diarrhea, or shortness of breath (allergic reaction).

Is it possible to remove mold and eat foods?

In most cases, the whitish-gray crust of food is the tip of the iceberg. Mold fibers – mycelium – have the ability to penetrate inside and continue the process of reproduction there. The higher the humidity of the product, the more fungus it contains. Its spores can also infect neighboring food.

You can try to cut the mold off hard cheeses, hard fruits, and vegetables with mold on the outside of the skin. You should cut off at least 1.5 cm around the fungus spots before eating.

Important: You can “reanimate” foods if they have not lost their shape and become soft and retain their normal smell.

What foods should be thrown away:

  • Meat products – sausage, sausages, bacon, thermally processed foods;
  • milk – yogurt, cottage cheese, soft cheese, sour cream
  • fish;
  • Vegetables – cucumbers, tomatoes;
  • fruits – peaches, strawberries, raspberries, cherries;
  • Bread and pastries;
  • jams and preserves, any canned food, ketchup, mayonnaise;
  • pasta and cereal dishes;
  • nuts.

Important: Proper storage of food (in cling film or tightly closed containers), cleaning the refrigerator and cabinets with a baking soda solution, and regular change of sponges and rags will help prevent the growth of the fungus.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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