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As you can probably guess, there’s not many times that eating mold is ideal. Unless you’re eating foods with edible mold, such as bleu cheese or salami, you might not want to eat foods containing it. So what happens if you eat mold? Well that depends. In some cases, there may not be any effects. In other cases, severe effects may occur. Let’s get into it!

Can You Eat Foods With Mold?

Some foods are developed with mold as an ingredient or apart of the process; as a result, these foods are ok to eat. Some foods are salvageable and can eaten after removing the affected areas. Other foods should be discarded immediately if they become infected.

Moldy foods that people eat regularly include:
  • alcoholic beverages
  • some packaged fruit juices
  • bleu cheese
  • soy sauce
  • stilton cheese
  • etc.

These foods are processed with mold and some, such as bleu cheese, contains a type of mold that is safe to digest. However, if you have mold allergies / illness or experience a yeast infection, stay away from these foods.

Mold on Food: Salvageable Foods vs. Non-Salvageable Foods

Surface mold has two parts to it. What you can see and what you can’t see. The visible mold on surfaces are likely to have rooted deeply into the element in which it has landed on. With food, it’s the same. Some foods are soft and easily penetrable. Other foods gives it a hard time getting through. To sum this up, if it has grown on a soft, easily penetrable food, you should immediately dispose of it. The mold has likely spread throughout all of it. However, there are some hard foods that can be salvaged. Let’s talk about how that works.

Non-Salvageable Foods

The following are a list of foods that should be discarded immediately if there is active growth on it. These foods are packed with moisture, soft and easily penetrable..

  • lunch meats
  • bacon
  • hot dogs
  • cooked meat/poultry
  • cooked casseroles
  • grains/pasta
  • soft cheeses (cottage, cream cheese, crumbled, shredded and sliced)
  • yogurt
  • sour cream
  • jelly/jam
  • soft fruits & vegetables
  • bread
  • peanut butter/nuts
Salvageable Foods

Mold cannot penetrate deeply into some foods. Of course, after cutting off the infected areas and some of the food itself, these foods are still edible. They are generally harder and low in moisture, which makes it harder for penetration.

  • hard salami (scrub the infected area from the surface)
  • dry-cured country ham (scrub the infected area from the surface)
  • hard cheese (cut off at least one inch around the contaminated area)
  • firm fruits and vegetables: cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, etc. (cut off at least one inch around the contaminated area)

What Happens if You Eat Mold?

Now it’s time to answer the question of the day: What Happens if You Eat Mold? It depends. The potential effects of ingesting it includes: shortness of breathe, respiratory problems and other severe illnesses listed here. This is especially true if you have a weakened immune system that may not be strong enough to fight off the bacteria. Although these effects are likely to happen, it is also true that in some cases, it will have no effect.

Let’s say you accidentally eat a slice of bread contaminated bread. If you have a healthy immune system, it is likely that the acids in your stomach will kill the mold and you will never even notice. However, If you do happen to eat it accidentally and later find out, you should contact a doctor immediately for advice on what to do next. Also remember that you should never purposely eat mold, unless it’s one of the foods that contains it as an ingredient.

Moldy Foods Prevention

There are number of things that you can do to prevent moldy eating accidents.

  1. Clean the inside of the refrigerator regularly and use baking soda;
  2. Keep food covered while serving;
  3. Pay attention to expiration dates before using foods;
  4. Eat leftovers, or throw them out, within 4 days;
  5. Finally, don’t leave perishables out of the fridge for more than a few hours


The basic answer to the question “What Happens If You Eat Mold?” is that it depends. Each person will process it differently; however, eating contaminated foods is never a good idea when it is not apart of the ingredients. Always avoid eating foods with active growth; however, if you do happen to eat it, get in contact with you doctor immediately.