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Is It Safe to Eat Moldy Bread?

A report by NPR.org renews warnings on mold and its dangers to your health, in the form of moldy bread. Like it or not, cutting off the part that looks moldy on bread is not the right thing to do, as toxic mold spores can be present whether the bread is green or not.

Mold is a type of microscopic fungi that live on organic matter, and which produce spores that can easily spread in air or water. And while moldy bread is definitely not something you can trim, the "rules" about when it's safe to eat moldy food or not actually vary depending on the type of food.

Generally speaking, if the food is hard, such as a brick of cheddar cheese or a carrot, you can cut off the moldy section (plus about one inch around it) and use the rest. Foods made with mold, such as certain cheeses, can also be eaten.

On the other hand, mold on soft foods like bread, fruit and soft cheeses should not be cut off, and the entire food should be thrown away, as some molds can be quite toxic. After you've removed a moldy item from your refrigerator, be sure to clean the area where it was stored (you can find tips on how to best clean your refrigerator here). Otherwise, you may simply re-contaminate the next food item you put in.

The life of leafy greens can be extended by as much as three extra days if you don't wash them before putting them in your fridge. Also keep in mind that apples, pears and bananas release natural ripening agents that will hasten the demise of any other produce placed in their vicinity. For more details, I've listed 27 tips to make your groceries last longer here, which include many tips to keep mold growth at bay.
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