How to Handle Mold
We have all returned home after a long vacation to an extremely moldy loaf of bread in our cabinets. The loaf is fuzzy and blue. What should you do?
The first time I saw a ridiculously moldy loaf of bread, my family had just got back from the lake for Memorial Day. I wanted to make myself a peanut butter jelly sandwich, so when I pulled out the bread I was mesmerized by the transformation. Less than a week earlier, the loaf was normal, but after a week’s time, the mold grew throughout the entire loaf, creating a dense vascular network throughout the loaf and blue/green fuzzy hairs on the surface.
Being the curious five-year-old I was at the time, I immediately stuck my hand into the plastic bread bad to inspect the microbe’s intricate and fascinating growth. Immediately, my mom came into the kitchen and “scalded me” (as much as a mom can to a five-year-old for playing with moldy bread).
Breathing in mold can lead to respiratory issues and can cause allergic reactions. Some molds can even produce harmful mycotoxins, leading to more severe illnesses. If you come across moldy food, avoid sniffy it. To discard moldy food, put it in a paper/plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash. By wrapping the item in a bag, you help minimize the risk of children and animals getting into it.
After disposing of the moldy item, clean the area where the item was stored. Check nearby items to make sure the mold didn’t spread. Discard of other contaminated foods, for foods contaminated with mold may also harbor potentially harmful foodborne pathogens like Listeria, Brucella, Salmonella and E. coli.