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What Could Happen If We Eat Mold by Mistake

Picture this: you finally take the first bite of your favorite sandwich and realize the bread’s covered in mold! This has probably happened to you once or twice, and you likely worried about the possible consequences. And, in fact, there are a few different ways the body can react to this.

Bright Side learned all about the negative effects mold on food can have on the body. And as a bonus, you’ll get a list of products that are safe to eat after scrubbing the mold off them.

Some mold can damage your liver.

There are toxic chemicals that can be found on mold, and they can cause serious health problems like liver damage, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Still, this depends on a few factors like your immune system or age. One of the most common and most toxic ones is known as aflatoxin that can even cause cancer.

Luckily, not all moldy food produces this chemical. It can, however, be found on peanuts and field corn.

The bacteria inside the mold can trigger food poisoning symptoms.

Mold, by itself, is not that dangerous and the chances of you actually getting sick are low. However, what can make you sick is the bacteria that can grow along with it. In this case, you can experience symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Their heaviness will depend on the type of bacteria and the amount of food you’ve eaten.

You might be allergic to mold.

There are some people who have allergic reactions to mold found on food. If you’re sensitive, it’s better to stay away from it, and in case you eat it by mistake, call your doctor immediately. The symptoms that can be a sign of an allergic reaction are:

  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Hives or a rash
  • Wheezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose

There are foods with mold that our bodies can digest easily.

Molds that are used in different types of cheese are safe to eat. In fact, cheese such as gorgonzola, Roquefort, and blue are made by introducing them to specific spores while camembert and brie have white ones. But unfortunately, they’re still not okay for those who have mold allergies.

Bonus: Foods that are safe to eat after scraping off mold

Safe to scrub and eat:

  • Hard salami and dry-cured country ham
  • Hard cheese where mold is not part of the process (if you cut off at least 1 inch around it)
  • Cheese made with mold but with additional mold growing on it (if you scrape the latter off)
  • Firm veggies and fruit as long as you cut off at least 1 inch around

Discard:

  • Hot dogs and bacon
  • Cooked leftover poultry, meat, casseroles, pasta, and grains
  • Soft cheese, sour cream, and yogurt
  • Jams and jellies
  • Soft veggies and fruits
  • Nuts, legumes, and peanut butter
  • Bread and baked goods

This article is for informational use only. If you experience any sign of mold poisoning you should call your doctor immediately.

Have you ever eaten moldy food by mistake? Did you get sick afterward?