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What to do with a partially moldy food? Should we throw it or not?

It happens, sometimes, that we find a piece of lemon (or other vegetable) forgotten in the bottom of the fridge’s vegetables container or a piece of apple (or other fruit) in the lower part of a kitchen basket. We find that it’s partially spoiled and covered with a grayish green cottony substance; this is mold. So, the question now is: Should we cut off the moldy part of the fruit or vegetable and eat the rest or should we completely get rid of it?

First, let’s note that it’s possible to find such traces of mold on all types of foods (the mostly exposed are fresh food, fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals, oilseeds, milk and dairy products). In general, such mold appears when food is subjected to poor storage conditions.

And even though we know that some types of mold are beneficial and useful (as in the case of the “Penicillium roqueforti” in the famous Roquefort cheese), others can be toxic and produce toxins called “mycotoxins” which are invisible and can spread throughout the piece of food, even in the intact part of it. Therefore, and despite the fact that the piece of food is found to be partially moldy, it’s always best to throw it since, sometimes, simply cutting the moldy part is not enough to eliminate the risk of poisoning.

Finally, and knowing that mold spreads very quickly, it is always advisable to remove the fruit, for example, from its environment as soon as it begins to show mold signs. Also, it is recommended not to overload your fridge so that to avoid creating a moist, poorly ventilated environment which can promote mold growth.

About Denise Abou Jamra

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