Moulds and Food
Be Safe – Don't Cross-Contaminate!
- Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods in your grocery cart and in your refrigerator.
- Always wash hands, cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water after they come in contact with raw meat, poultry and seafood.
- Use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry and seafood and another for foods that are ready-to eat.
- Never place cooked food on a plate which previously held raw meat, poultry and seafood.
How Can You Protect Food from Mould?
- When serving food, keep it covered to prevent exposure to mould spores in the air. Use plastic wrap to cover foods you want to stay moist-fresh or cut fruits and vegetables, and green and mixed salads.
- Empty opened vans of perishable foods into clean storage containers and refrigerate them promptly.
- Don't leave any perishables out of the refrigerator more then 2 hours.
- Use leftovers within 3 to 4 days so mould doesn't have much chance to grow.
How Should You Handle Food with Mould on It?
Buying small amounts and using food quickly can help prevent mould growth.
When you see mouldy foods:
- Don't sniff the mouldy item. This can cause respiratory trouble.
- If food is covered with mould, discard it. Put it into a small paper bag or wrap it in plastic and dispose in a covered trash can that children and animals can't get into.
- Clean the refrigerator or pantry at the spot where the food was stored.
- Check nearby items the mouldy food might have touched. Mould spreads quickly in fruits and vegetables.
Are Moulds Only on the Surface of Food?
No, you only see part of the mould on the surface of food: gray fur on forgotten bologna, fuzzy green dots on bread, white dust on Cheddar, coin-size velvety circles on fruits, and furry growth on the surface of jellies. When a food shows heavy mould growth, "root" threads have invaded it deeply. In dangerous moulds, poisonous substances are often contained in and around these threads. In some cases, toxins may have spread throughout the food.
Toronto & York Region Mould Inspection Services