Finding mold on bread , especially on sliced bread packages, is relatively common, many times without the expiration date being prescribed. And is that bread, especially if it is homemade, which does not contain preservatives, is one of the foods most likely to be colonized by these unpleasant fungi .
The normal thing is that, the mere fact of finding mold in the bread immediately removes the desire to eat it, but, what if we do it by accident? What if we remove the affected slices and eat the rest? Will we get sick? Will we put our health at risk?
The dangers of eating moldy bread
Well, the truth is that, if, accidentally, we eat a bite of moldy bread, beyond the disgust it gives us, we do not need to run to the emergency room, because the most normal thing is that nothing happens . At best, we will just digest it, and at worst, if we are allergic to these fungi or have a weakened immune system, it will cause us some unpleasant symptoms, such as an upset stomach, runny nose, headache, respiratory problems … J
ust In very rare cases, this allergic reaction will be serious and will lead to anaphylactic shock, something that, in addition to being rare, can happen to us with many other things that can cause allergies.
In addition, luckily, the fungi that usually colonize bread, which are Penicillium or Neurospora crassa, are not usually dangerous. Yes they are, for example, Aspergillus or Fusariums because they can give rise to mycotoxins, but when we are in contact with them on a regular basis, not by eating a bite. In addition, it is likely that many times we eat mold without knowing it, because when we see mold on bread, the fungi have already been colonizing it for a few days , and the fungi are not visible for the first few days.
In case you accidentally eat moldy bread, just keep an eye on the following hours and days in case any of the above symptoms appear.
What happens if we eat moldy bread often?
That it is more or less safe to eat a bite of moldy bread does not mean that it is healthy, far from it, since continued exposure to certain types of fungi can represent a serious health risk .
This is due to the presence of mycotoxins, substances produced by fungi -mainly those of the genus Aspergillus, Fusarium and Penicillium- that are not destroyed by cooking and that, in the long run, as warned by the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) , “ can cause various adverse effects such as cancer induction and mutagenicity, as well as problems in the metabolism of estrogens, gastrointestinal or in the kidney.
Some mycotoxins are also immunosuppressive, reducing resistance to infectious diseases. There are mycotoxins that produce these toxicological effects due to long-term exposure to them and others that also present acute effects (mainly gastrointestinal), such as deoxynivalenol ”, they assure.
Therefore, the less we are exposed to mold, either by eating it or breathing it, the better for our health, especially in the long term.
What do I do if my bread has mold?
Many times, as with other foods, we are tempted to remove the part colonized by mold and eat the rest. This is a mistake, because the visible part of the mold is just that, the visible part, because, although the human eye cannot see it, it is most likely that the fungi have colonized a large part of the food. This is because the fungi are spreading and growing through roots known as hyphae, which are not visible to the human eye.
Therefore, if we see mold in any part of the bread, be it a loaf or loaf, the safest thing is to throw away the loaf or the entire package.This occurs with bread and other foods such as stews, vegetables such as tomatoes, soft sausages, fruit … in general, any food in which, due to its consistency, mushrooms can spread quickly.
The only foods in which we could remove the moldy part (with a two-centimeter margin) and eat the rest, are those with the hardest consistency, such as cured cheeses, carrots, fuet … Even so, the safest thing will always be to discard them . If we wrap them in a bag or paper before throwing them away, it is better, as this will prevent the spores of the fungi from spreading, which will give rise to new fungi.
Bacon, hot dogs, and most cold cuts should be quickly discarded if they contain mold. The problem is that even if we only see a small area of the mushroom colony, it is most likely rooted.
There are also ‘good molds’. They are the ones that we find in cabrales, camembert, brie type cheeses … These fungi are not dangerous because they are molds typical of these foods and because, as AESAN warns, they are created in refrigeration and “not only fungal growth is lower, but also the proportional production of mycotoxins ”.
What to do to avoid mold on bread?
As with other foods, preservation is the key to avoid or delay the appearance of fungi. In the case of bread, we must:
• Keep the bread in a closed cloth bag. In case it is homemade, do not keep it more than four days. Something more if it is sourdough. Industrialists hold up poorly, but we must take into account the expiration date.
• Keep bread away from humid environments. Ideally, keep it in a cool (below 24 degrees), dry and dark place.
• Gluten-free bread is more susceptible to fungi , so it should be eaten earlier.