There are some foods that are perfectly fine to eat when they’re a little moldy and then there are some you should toss in the trash immediately. Everyone loves to save a little money and no one wants to throw food in the trash but if the follow moldy items are in your fridge, toss ’em!
Jams And Jellies
The mold is jelly could produce a mycotoxin, a poisonous substance that can make you sick. The USDA and microbiologists do not recommend scooping out the mold or “eating around it”. Therefore, if you notice signs of mold on the lid or in the product, throw it away. Most jellies have a shelf life of six months to a year–the more sugar content the longer it will last.
Cheese made with mold like Brie, Camembert, and blue cheese are fine to eat, however its a different story for soft cheeses like cottage and cream cheese. In addition, if you notice mold on crumbled, shredded, or sliced cheese, discard it. If mold is growing on one side of a block of cheese, it’s safe to cut off the moldy area and continue to eat the rest.
Yogurt And Sour Cream
Yogurt and cream cheese have a high moisture content which is a breeding ground for mold. What’s even scarier is that the mold found on these type of products grow below the surface and are difficult. The type of mold associated with yogurt and sour cream is “Mucor circinelloides”__and causes bloating and swelling of yogurt containers. Even if you do not notice a change in the product’s container, throw it out 7 days after the expiration date.
Soft Fruits and Vegetables
Like yogurt and sour cream, soft fruits and vegetables like peaches, cucumbers, berries, and tomatoes may have mold growing underneath the surface. In addition, mold spreads rapidly in fruit and vegetables so be sure to check other produce in your fridge.
Peanut Butter, Legumes, And Nuts
Aflatoxin is a mold that grows in soils is commonly found on peanut butter, legumes, and nuts. This type of mold is considered a human carcinogen, meaning it could cause cancer. Since these products are not processed with preservatives, they are at risk for growing mold.
Lunch Meat, Bacon, Hot Dogs
These moisture-rich items are prone to quickly growing mold. In addition, moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria, so be sure to throw out these products that are past their expiration date, preferably seven days past the date.
Bread And Baked Goods
If you spot mold on one slice of bread, it’s best to throw the whole loaf away. The reason being is that baked goods and bread is very porous and there may be even more mold below the surface. Additionally, mold can spread quickly and the whole loaf may be contaminated.
That leftover spaghetti left in the fridge could have mold on it. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that you throw away leftover dishes with meat and poultry, cooked casseroles and cooked grain pasta that appear to have mold on them. Also, leftovers have a high moisture-content and could have mold growing underneath the surface along with bacteria.
Mold Safety Tips
- If you suspect mold, don’t smell it. According to the USDA, this could cause respiratory issues.
- Discard of moldy food in a small paper or plastic bag. To be safe, throw away the container the food was stored in.
- If you accidentally ingested mold, no need to seek medical attention. While it may go unnoticed for many, some experience gastrointestinal upset like nausea and diarrhea.
Moldy Foods Safe to Eat
Salami and Dry-cured Hams
The white stuff on your salami is actually an edible mold called Penicillium. It’s considered normal for hard meats like salami to have a bit of mold. In fact, it is added to produce a certain flavor. So don’t fret if you notice it.
For hard cheeses like Asiago, Parmesan, and Cheddar, mold isn’t a part of their production, and can’t get deep into it either. Therefore, if you notice a spot of mold on your cheese just cut off at least 1-inch below the area. Also, be sure not to touch the mold to avoid cross-contamination.
Firm Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables like cabbage, apples, and bell peppers are dense, which make it difficult for mold to penetrate. The same rule applied above goes for produce as well. If you notice mold on the surface, just cut off at least 1-inch off the area.