Why Does Mold Grow on Food?
Food is one of the most common places that mold can be found. Most people have seen mold on bread or food stored in the refrigerator for too long. The most common types of bread mold include cladosporium, penicillium and rhizopus stolonifera. Find out why these and many other types of mold grow on food.
Spores Are Everywhere
Mold spores are present in air, soil and water. As a result, food items are likely to be exposed to spores throughout the food supply chain:
Exposure to spores usually does not immediately cause fungus growth. Spores only settle and multiply in a suitable environment.
Moisture and Nutriment
Practically every type of food is a dense source of nutriment. Moisture and a food source are the two requirements for mold growth. The starches in bread break down into sugars, which sustain bread mold. Limited air circulation during storage at room temperature or in a refrigerator is also favorable for fungi.
Delaying Mold Growth
It is all but impossible to prevent mold from growing on food eventually. Delay growth by taking the following food safety measures:
- Cover cooked food as soon as possible
- Promptly refrigerate food
- Make sure containers and surfaces are clean
- Maintain low humidity levels
Even if fridge mold starts growing on one item, containment and cleanliness can limit cross-contamination. Throw away food as soon as mold growth becomes apparent. Some preserved foods contain mold that is safe to eat or which should be removed prior to consumption.
Mold grows on food for the same reasons that people eat food. Bread and other items are sources of sustenance. Bread mold usually does not indicate a major problem. If homeowners smell a musty odor or see signs of mold growth on building materials or contents, they should schedule a consultation with mold remediation specialists in Oakdale, PA.