Is Bread Mold Good or Bad for Humans?

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Many people know that some molds are not only safe for human consumption but are actually beneficial to your health. Unfortunately, this is not true for all molds and microorganisms. While the blue mold found on some cheeses adds flavor and nutrition, blue and green bread mold can be dangerous. If you see mold on a loaf of bread in your pantry, avoid eating it, and dispose of it immediately.

Avoid Bread Mold

  • If you see evidence of mold on your bread, it is not a good idea to eat it. The most common mold found on bread is penicillium, which tends to form in blue or green clusters. While penicillium is usually not harmful to humans, other similar-looking but more dangerous molds can form on stale bread. Some of these molds can be poisonous and cause vomiting or other ailments. At the very least, even innocuous molds tend to have a bad taste, so it is best to avoid moldy bread just to be safe.

Allergies

  • While the common penicillium mold is relatively harmless to most people, many people experience allergic reactions. These individuals react to eating moldy bread even if a more toxic variety of mold isn't present. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to penicillium include cold-like symptoms like coughing and a runny nose. In extreme cases, allergy sufferers also experience more severe respiratory issues such as asthma or anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that drops your blood pressure and causes difficulty breathing.

Mycotoxins

  • Mycotoxins are varieties of mold that are considered poisonous to human beings. While they are not nearly as common as penicillium, they can form on foods, including stale bread, under the right circumstances. These molds can be extremely toxic. One of the most worrisome is aflatoxin, which is linked to cancer and other serious diseases.

Disposing of Moldy Bread

  • The best thing to do if you see mold spores on a loaf of bread is to throw out the entire loaf. While mold can be safely scraped or cut off of cheese, the porous nature of bread allows the mold to grow deep inside the loaf. Even if you can not see the network of mold growing below the surface, contamination has likely spread throughout the entire loaf or piece of bread.

References

  • Photo Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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