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Jewish Recipes --> Food and Health -- > Food Safety Education --> Molds On Food: Are They Dangerous?

You must consult Doctor on all health and medical and your Rabbi concerning all kosher and Jewish Law issues. This web site is for informational purposes ONLY.

Molds On Food: Are They Dangerous? How Should You Handle Food with Mold on It?

Buying small amounts and using food quickly can help prevent mold growth. But when you see moldy food:

  • Donít sniff the moldy item. This can cause respiratory trouble.
  • If food is covered with mold, discard it. Put it into a small paper bag or wrap it in plastic and dispose in a covered trash can that children and animals canít get into.
  • Clean the refrigerator or pantry at the spot where the food was stored.
  • Check nearby items the moldy food might have touched. Mold spreads quickly in fruits and vegetables.
  • See the attached chart ďMoldy Food: When to Use, When to Discard.Ē

Molds on Food
FOOD HANDLING REASON
Luncheon meats, bacon, or hot dogs Discard Foods with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface. Moldy foods may also have bacteria growing along with the mold.
Hard salami and dry-cured country hams Use. Scrub mold off surface. It is normal for these shelf-stable products to have surface mold.
Cooked leftover meat and poultry Discard Foods with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface. Moldy foods may also have bacteria growing along with the mold.
Cooked casseroles Discard Foods with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface. Moldy foods may also have bacteria growing along with the mold.
Cooked grain and pasta Discard Foods with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface. Moldy foods may also have bacteria growing along with the mold.
Hard cheese
(not cheese where mold is part of the processing)
Use. Cut off at least 1 inch around and below the mold spot (keep the knife out of the mold itself so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese). After trimming off the mold, re-cover the cheese in fresh wrap. Mold generally cannot penetrate deep into the product.
Cheese made with mold
(such as Roquefort, blue, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Brie, Camembert)
Discard soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert if they contain molds that are not a part of the manufacturing process. If surface mold is on hard cheeses such as Gorgonzola and Stilton, cut off mold at least 1 inch around and below the mold spot and handle like hard cheese (above). Molds that are not a part of the manufacturing process can be dangerous.
Soft cheese
(such as cottage, cream cheese, Neufchatel, chevre, Bel Paese, etc.) Crumbled, shredded, and sliced cheeses (all types)
Discard Foods with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface. Shredded, sliced, or crumbled cheese can be contaminated by the cutting instrument. Moldy soft cheese can also have bacteria growing along with the mold.
Yogurt and sour cream Discard Foods with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface. Moldy foods may also have bacteria growing along with the mold.
Jams and jellies Discard The mold could be producing a mycotoxin. Microbiologists recommend against scooping out the mold and using the remaining condiment.
Fruits and vegetables, firm
(such as cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, etc.)
Use. Cut off at least 1 inch around and below the mold spot (keep the knife out of the mold itself so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the produce). Small mold spots can be cut off fruits and vegetables with low moisture content. Itís difficult for mold to penetrate dense foods.
Fruits and vegetables, soft
(such as cucumbers, peaches, tomatoes, etc.)
Discard Fruits and vegetables with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface.
Bread and baked goods Discard Porous foods can be contaminated below the surface.
Peanut butter, legumes and nuts Discard Foods processed without preservatives are at high risk for mold.
United States Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service
http://www.fsis.usda.gov
September 2005

Sept 2005 - 2014 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods