Have you ever seen a bit of mold on your cheese or bread and just chopped off the green part, and ate the rest of it. Is that the best course of action? When you see green or gray fuzz on a piece of food, you should know that is just the “plant” of the mold, and there is actually mold roots going deep throughout the food, and in some more severe cases the mold could be spread throughout the whole item.
It’s especially important to recognize moldy foods because there is a cancer causing toxin – Aflatoxin – which is typically found on moldy corn or peanuts. However, they are also found in any environment where large amounts of food are stored for long periods of time. This toxin is something that often causes both human and pet food to be recalled, so it’s important to be well apprised of recalls for you and your pets.
What’s interesting to know is that not all mold is dangerous. Some molds are even used to make products that are helpful to humans. For example, the mold Penicillium is not only used to make the important antibiotic penicillin, but it can also be used to make delicious Roquefort and Gorgonzola cheeses. The delicious rind on Brie and Camembert cheeses are also created by molds that help to make things even more yummy.
To prevent harmful mold from taking over your food, check your food before you buy it at the grocery store. Clean your fridge regularly and remove moldy items. If you make preserved food at home, heat process them at at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit before storing them. Don’t leave open containers of food in your refrigerator, instead, put leftover food in a tupperware container or a bowl with plastic wrap over it.
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