What happens if food gets moldy? Which musty foods can be eaten, and which ones to throw away?

Sometimes we come across some moldy foods and wonder if we should throw away or cut off the mold and eat it again. If you eat, will it affect health? Here is the answer for you.

1. Certain molds can damage the liver

There are toxic chemicals found on molds in foods that can cause serious health problems such as liver damage, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, what happens depends on several factors such as your immune system or your age. One of the most common and toxic substances is called aflatoxin, which can even cause cancer, especially liver cancer. Fortunately, not all moldy foods produce this toxic chemical. However, aflatoxin is found on moldy peanuts and corn.

2. The bacteria inside mold can trigger the symptoms of food poisoning

When it comes to food poisoning and foodborne illness, people often think only of the toxins in food and the role of pathogenic bacteria, with little mention of the molds and their toxins. The truth is that mycosis diseases are not small. Now science has proven that if we eat mold contaminated food, we can get dangerous diseases.

The disease can occur in the form of acute poisoning, but most are chronic poisoning because the body accumulates small amounts of mycotoxins. In this case, you may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. Their weight will depend on the type of bacteria and the amount of food you eat.

3. You may be allergic to mold

There are some people who have allergic reactions to food molds. If you have a history of allergy, you should stay away from it, and in case you eat wrong and have symptoms such as itching and watery eyes, rash, wheezing, runny nose or stuffy nose, need to get sick hospital immediately.

4. Some foods have mold that our bodies can digest easily

In most cases, accidentally biting a little moldy food will have no effect on health. They can only cause disease in rare cases, according to Dr. Rudolph Bedford, a gastroenterologist at Providence Saint John Medical Center (USA).

Fortunately, even if you eat a little bit of moldy food, your body will be okay. The digestive system will digest mold normally like any other food. Dr. Bedford said the body will remain healthy as long as the immune system works well and enough to neutralize the harmful effects of mold.

All mold food is moldy when mold is on the outside surface. In fact, the roots of molds may have penetrated deep into the food. Therefore, with soft, porous foods such as cakes, ice cream, yogurt, jam, jelly … it should be removed when mold is detected.

However, with some hard foods like fruits, hard cheese, mold roots are hard to penetrate deep inside. We can eat it if we cut out the moldy exterior and eat the inside.

A safe eating distance is the portion of food that is below the 2.5-centimeter-below-mold surface, as recommended by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

5. Methods of handling and preventing mold in food

– Ensuring food safety through processing, storage, circulation, distribution and use stages;

– Store dry food in a cool, dry place, consider storing in a cool or freezer compartment depending on the type of food;

– When the color, shape, and taste of the food show unusual signs compared to the food’s characteristics or the food is suspected to be unsafe, it should be discarded and not used. Washing moldy foods still cannot thoroughly eliminate mycotoxins;

– When signs of poisoning, food poisoning or suspected poisoning have occurred after using suspected foods with mold, users need to stop using that food, keep all leftovers, vomit, urine, stool, … for testing and timely emergency care;

– Emergency management: For poisoned people to vomit out all ingested substances, prevent the absorption of intestines with toxins, and protect the stomach lining.

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