What happens if you accidentally eat mold?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “what happens if you accidentally eat mold?”, and other queries related to this topic.

What happens if you accidentally eat mold? 

You are most likely to be safe if you accidentally eat mold, but in some cases you can develop some food poisoning symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever.

However, some types of cheese are consumed after mold has developed like blue cheese and Roquefort. Mold gives these cheeses some exclusive taste and aroma. Moldy food can be contaminated with mycotoxins which are toxins secreted by bacteria during their development. 

When ingesting moldy food regularly, mycotoxins can build up in your body and in the long term, it can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Despite exposing the moldy food to heat, mycotoxins will not be destroyed because they are heat resistant. 

Generally, mold develops on much perishable food due to the bad storage conditions and the bad handling process. In the first stages, mold is not very seen on the surface of the food but when the number of bacteria increases in food it will appear and will be obvious to be seen.

Can you cut around the mold?

Yes, you can cut around the food but it also depends on the type of food mold has already grown on it. If your food is moist and it contains water consider throwing it all away because bacteria might have contaminated the whole product. 

So, fruits and vegetables like strawberries, cucumber, oranges, and bananas, soft cheese like feta, ricotta, mozzarella, milk, and yogurt should be discarded when they develop any sign of spoilage or quality deterioration. Because bacteria can proliferate inside the whole product. 

However, hard cheeses like parmesan and cheddar, deli, and processed meats like ham, salami, and pepperoni can be consumed when the moldy part has been removed. But if there is a large quantity of molds on the food, consider discarding it because toxins are most likely to have grown in it. 

Regarding bread, you can cut the moldy part and consume the rest but keep in mind that toasting and exposing bread to heat will not kill bacteria, mold, or toxins. Also, for the jam, you still can eat it but you should remove the mold with some jams to ensure their safety.

What are the effects of mold on health?

The effect of mold on health depends on multiple factors such as the quantity of mold consumed or inhaled, your general health condition like if you are suffering from any allergies or not, and the type of mold ingested. However, the symptoms might take a few hours to days, and even weeks to develop.

Regarding mold allergy, some people suffer from this problem which leads to some symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. However, it can get worse and the patient might require hospitalization. 

In normal cases and healthy individuals, the immune system can fight any infection or foreign body that enters the body. Additionally, some mold leads to toxins and mycotoxins secretion inside the food. The severity of the mycotoxins depends on the bacteria that has secreted the toxins. 

For example, there is a species of bacteria called Aspergillus that can secrete aflatoxins and cause aflatoxicosis. Ingesting or inhaling such a toxin can be life-threatening because this poisoning can lead to liver damage. You can find these toxins in inappropriately stored nuts, soybeans, peanuts, and spices.

How to keep food fresh?

To keep your food fresh you need to store your products whether they are fruits, vegetables, nuts, bread, spices, or jam in an appropriate place since warm and humid places increase the chance of the food deteriorating and developing mold.

Also, during refrigeration and despite the low temperatures some types of mold can develop, thus deteriorating your products. So, one of the tips to take into consideration to keep the freshness of your food is to buy good quality products and avoid any products that have spoilage signs. 

To avoid food waste, buy small quantities at a time. This way you will consume them before mold and bacteria develop within the product. Regarding fruits and vegetables, keep them in the drawer at the bottom of the fridge where the temperature and the humidity are well controlled. 

Moreover, do not keep your food leftover for more than three to four days in the fridge. Because bacteria are more likely to proliferate inside such a product. So, avoid the consumption of your leftovers if they have been sitting in the fridge for more than four days.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “ what happens if you accidentally eat mold?” and other queries related to this topic.



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