Food Safety Focus (199th Issue, February 2023)– Article 4
Mouldy Food and Food Safety
The warm and humid weather in spring promotes mould growth. Leaving food and leftovers uncovered at room temperature could cause contamination of food by mould spores from surroundings and mould germination. Mould spores are ubiquitous. Not only can mould cause food spoilage and affect product quality, some of them can also produce toxins that can cause illness.
Proper food storage can reduce food contamination by spores and mould growth. Leftovers and opened cans of unfinished foods should be transferred into clean storage containers for refrigeration and consumed as soon as possible. Keep food that requires no refrigeration, like dried food, in a cool and dry place . Consumers should also avoid overstocking. Of note, removing the mould and the surrounding food materials may help to remove the toxins present, but hyphae of the mould can invade deeply into the food – there is no guarantee that all moulds and toxins can be removed. For food safety's sake, do not eat mouldy food and throw it away.