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Bread, veg and cheese are safe to eat when mouldy, but other foods could harm you

We’ve all done it – bought tonnes of fresh fruits and veggies only for them to go off within a day or two of entering our fridge.

And, with shortages of CO2 and HGV drivers some Brits have noticed gaps on the shop shelves or produce that’s not as fresh as usual when we get it.

Distribution firm Perishable Movements warned the Sun that items like salad are now being packed with less CO2 – a preservative that keeps it fresh.

And, they’re sitting in storage longer before reaching shops because of staff shortages in the trucker sector.

With that in mind it can be handy to know whether you’ll get sick from a gone off carrot or which moulds are dangerous.

It is possible to cut out the green and furry bits of moldy food, and still eat it.



Harder vegetables can sometimes be salvaged
Harder vegetables can sometimes be salvaged

Fruits and Veg

Root veg – like parsnips and carrots – and brassicas – like cabbage – are high in acid and low in moisture so mould can’t dig as far into it. They can be safely eaten if you remove the rotten parts. Just make sure they’re not slimy!

You can eat the same fruit as before, so you can just cut off the affected part and enjoy.

Cheese

According to the MayoClinic: “Mould generally can’t penetrate far into hard and semisoft cheeses, such as cheddar, colby, Parmesan and Swiss.

“So you can cut away the mouldy part and eat the rest of the cheese. Cut off at least 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) around and below the mouldy spot.”

Soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert already have a skin of mould called the bloom around them and blue cheese obviously if filled with mould. This is a form of penicillin.



Cheese can be saved if you cut off the mouldy bits
Cheese can be saved if you cut off the mouldy bits

Food safety consultant Jill Taylor told the Sun: “When you have a cheese-board and you store different cheese in the same box in the fridge, the hard cheese like Cheddar will get a white mould growth which has spread from the Brie, Camembert or Stilton.

“That is perfectly fine, as long as it’s just white, fluffy mould with no pink, blue or green colour and as long as it doesn’t look slimy. Just cut it off.

“Throw that in the bin and the rest of it should be fine. If the cheese is slimy, get rid of it, because there may be bacterial growth and toxins.”

Meat

Salami, prosciutto and similar charcuterie meats also usually have mould and bacteria added to them white curing so it’s unlikely to be affected inside.

But, you shouldn’t eat them past their best before date.



Dried meats will be fine, but throw away fresh or cooked meat
Dried meats will be fine, but throw away fresh or cooked meat

Normal meats like chicken or beef should be thrown away at any sign of mould or smell.

Food poisoning is not something you want.

Bread

We’ve all seen our bread go green on occasion and it can be very off-putting, but it’s unlikely to hurt you. If there’s just a few spots of mould then cut them off and you can eat the rest of the bread.

Bread that is extremely soggy or mouldy should be thrown away.



Bread with just a few patches, but don't both if it's covered
Bread with just a few patches, but don’t both if it’s covered

Preserves

Jam and marmalade often stick around in the fridge for weeks at a time so you might spot the occasional fluffy bit on top.

Patrick Hinkey, a mould expert, said that jam with a thin coating of mould can still be salvaged if it is removed and placed a few centimetres beneath the affected area.

If jam becomes mouldy, it can sometimes contain toxic toxins.

But, the Food Standards Agency advises against eating food that is obviously rotten or contains mould.

It is difficult to do this with soft foods like jam, as the mould could have penetrated deeper than your imagination.

So, vulnerable groups shouldn’t apply the scrape and eat method to be on the safe side.



You can eat some foods after they grow mould if you cut out the affected part
You can eat some foods after they grow mould if you cut out the affected part

Eggs

You’ll know if your eggs have gone off because they’ll reek when you crack them open and may also look black.

Throw them away – you won’t be tempted to eat them anyway.

Salad

Leaves like lettuce, rocket or watercress should not be eaten if they’re mouldy or gone off and you’ll be able to tell because they’ll be wilted, soggy or smelly.

Gross.

Is it okay to eat food that has a bit of mold? Tell us in the comments…

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Bread, veg and cheese are safe to eat when mouldy, but other foods could harm you
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.
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