How To Prevent Food Mould From Spreading In Your Home

Tuesday 7th November 2023

Ellen Warren

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Brown bread with mould growing on it CONTENTS

 

 

The growth of food mould within your home is an inevitable occurrence, which can lead to it massively spreading to other areas if the situation remains unaddressed. By the time visible growth appears, the mould may have emitted these spores, which develop into vigorous colonies.

ICE Cleaning is a mould remediation company paving the way for specialist cleaning services in the UK. Our technicians operate nationwide and use advanced technology to discover the root cause of mould, eliminating it at the source and preventing its return.

Read on to learn more about food mould and how it can eventually spread onto surfaces in your home.

What is food mould?

Food mould is a fungus that flourishes when our foods, such as fruit, yoghurts, and cheese, are left past their 'use by' date or stored incorrectly. While it shares similar characteristics to common house mould, there are important differences that separate them.

The primary difference lies in their preference for growth environments. House mould prefers damp and humid spaces like bathrooms or basements. On the other hand, food mould finds its home in your cupboards or fridge, feeding on old or rotting foods.

Eating food with visible signs of this microscopic life form can have some unpleasant effects on your health. Luckily, there are ways to prevent its growth and keep your food safe.

The unique characteristics of food mould

Food mould produces mycotoxins similarly to house moulds, but there are unique characteristics that distinguish it from other types of moulds, like house mould.

While house mould prefers damp and dark spaces such as bathrooms or basements, food mould breeds on perishable items kept at room temperature. 

The appearance is another tell-tale sign of these different species. House mould often appears black or green with a fuzzy texture. But, food mould comes in various colours, like blue, green and even white, while displaying a velvety to fluffy texture.

The impact each type has on human health differs. Prolonged exposure to house mould can cause respiratory problems, whereas food ingestion contaminated by mycotoxins may lead to more severe health issues like poisoning or allergic reactions.

Health implications of food mould exposure

Mould on food poses health risks when ingested or inhaled. Short-term contact with mould on food can cause allergic responses, such as coughing and a scratchy throat.

However, long-term or high levels of exposure can have more serious effects. Some food moulds produce mycotoxins, poisonous substances, that can make you very ill. According to the CDC, these toxins may contribute to conditions like respiratory illnesses or immune disorders.

To keep yourself safe, discard any food with visible mould. Although you may think you can cut off the mould and still eat the food, the colony will have already grown inside of the food and spread through it.

Strategies for preventing food mould growth

Preventing food mould involves a blend of storage techniques and good hygiene practices. To start, keep your kitchen clean. Wipe surfaces with anti-bacterial solutions regularly to get rid of spores before they have a chance to grow.

Temperature is essential when it comes to preserving food. Cold temperatures slow down mould growth significantly, so you should be storing perishable items in the fridge properly.

Lastly, pay attention to humidity levels in your home, as high humidity can promote mould growth. If the humidity levels in your home are too high, you may need to consider using dehumidifiers or air conditioners.

Steps to take when encountering mould on food

  1. Determine the extent of mould: Not all foods are salvageable when they have mould. Foods with high moisture content like bread or soft fruits should be discarded as mould may have penetrated below the surface.
  2. Safely dispose of affected items: Wrap up any mouldy foods in a biodegradable plastic bag and throw them into a bin, or place it into a food waste bin to be collected.
  3. Clean and disinfect storage areas: Wipe down fridge shelves, cupboards or other storage areas where you found the tainted item using a suitable anti-mould cleaner.

How to react when food mould has spread in your home

If some mouldy fruit or bread is left exposed to the elements in your kitchen, you risk the possibility of airborne spores finding a place to grow in your home. If you spot mould growing, you should isolate the area and refrain from touching or disturbing the mould as this can spread spores.

To properly eliminate it, you must hire a professional cleaning service specialising in mould cleaning services. Mould removal companies have experienced specialists who use approved techniques to fix these issues safely.

Do not try to clean the mould yourself, as it is a complex issue requiring innovative technology that discovers the root of mould and eliminates it. By cleaning the mould yourself, you could be at risk of inhaling spores or triggering the release of more.

Frequently asked questions

Is food mould harmful?

Certain types of food mould can lead to health issues ranging from allergic reactions to more serious infections.

What is food mould?

Food mould is a type of fungus that grows on spoiled or aged foods, visible as fuzzy spots in different colours.

What is mould in food poisoning?

Mould-related food poisoning typically results from eating foods contaminated with toxic compounds produced by certain kinds of mould.

Is mould killed by cooking heat?

Cooking may kill the live fungi but it does not destroy the toxins already produced by the mould. So, it is safer not to eat it at all.

Get in touch

At ICE Cleaning, our experts offer professional mould removal services, utilising the industry's best technology to prevent its return. With our mould remediation solutions, we offer a lifetime guarantee*, where we will return to your property if the mould returns and conduct a second cleaning for free.

To learn more about our mould cleaning solutions, get in touch with our friendly support team at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. We can be on-site within a few hours of your first call and can offer advice 24/7, 365 days a year, including bank holidays.

*subject to advisories

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