The Fridge: molds’ breeding ground

It’s a common experience in the life of a college student (and some of us old enough to know better). It’s late at night and you’re hungry. The top Ramen is all gone and you go questing in the fridge for something to eat. Last week’s pizza has started to look a bit crusty and that sandwich you told yourself you’d eat later has started to grow fur. You hunt through the fridge and in your search you find something truly horrifying. It’s a plastic container containing chocolate pudding that you put there 10 months ago and completely forgot about! An entire ecosystem of mold has formed and it’s only the plastic lid that is holding back the noxious odors from carrying out an attack run on your olfactory senses. The best thing you can do is sacrifice the Tupperware by throwing it and its contents away.

 In most cases food mold is not dangerous (except to your sense of smell). Here is some advice from Andrew Weil, M.D. About how to deal with mold in your refrigerator.

“Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter. We don’t know how many species of fungi exist, but according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the total might range from tens of thousands to upwards of 300,000. Most are threadlike organisms that produce spores that can be transported by air, water, or insects.

Unfortunately, with mold, what you see is not always all you get. The visible mold that can develop on food may have invisible thread-like branches and roots that reach deep under the surface. Mold on food is not only unsightly – it can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems, and given the right conditions, a few molds can produce poisonous “mycotoxins” capable of making you sick. If you see heavy mold growth on the surface of food, you can assume that its roots run deep. Sometimes the same conditions that favor mold allow unseen bacteria to grow along with the fungi.

You can safely cut the mold away from some foods and eat the rest, but this applies largely to hard food including hard cheese. The USDA advises cutting off at least one inch around and below the mold. Be sure to keep the knife out of the mold so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese. After trimming off the mold, use a fresh wrap.

If you encounter mold that is not part of the manufacturing process (as with Brie and Camembert), throw out the cheese. If surface mold is on hard cheeses made with mold such as Gorgonzola and Stilton, cut off at least one inch around and below the mold spot as you would with other hard cheeses.

You can control mold by keeping your refrigerator, dishcloths and other cleaning utensils clean. A musty smell means that dishcloths, towels, sponges and mops are harboring mold. Throw away any you can’t get clean. The USDA also recommends cleaning the inside of your refrigerator every few months with one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in a quart of water. Rinse with clear water and dry. Scrub visible mold (usually black) on rubber casings using three teaspoons of bleach in a quart of water.”

For those of you who find mold running rampant in your refrigerator, perhaps tonight is a night to order a pizza!

Mold and your new child

It’s a joyous moment when you first bring your new baby home. The baby’s crib is prepared, the toys are all shiny and new and all is right in the world. If you bring a child home to a relatively new house or apartment you can be fairly certain that mold will be a nonissue. However if your home is of a certain age and is located in an area that is subject to frequent flooding or humidity it would be wise to seek a professional opinion on your homes safety.

Babies generally have robust health but any outside force can have lasting influence on the long-term health. If you attempt about or mold yourself you may get all of it but what happens if you don’t? Even dead mold spores if spread through the air can cause health problems. Once your baby starts to crawl and explore everything by putting it in their mouth your problems of Just been multiplied a thousand fold.

So what can you do to protect your little one and yourself from the harmful effects of mold? Firstly seek out a mold remediation company that can come in and identify the problem and propose a solution. They will find where the mold is and what is causing it grow. Then they will provide you with options for how to deal with it. Once you leave it in their hands will be able to be confident that on only is your mold problem being dealt with now but they will also leave you with helpful knowledge on how to prevent it from coming back. The health of your child comes first.

Mold and children’s drinks: a success story

In this age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all other forms of social media it’s difficult to decide on the face of it what is true and what is false. People are misquoted, pictures are falsified and stories are fabricated but there are times when the truth really is stranger than fiction. In 2013 a woman posted a picture on Facebook other Capri Sun juice Pack that was brimming with mold.

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Her post said, “WARNING TO ALL PARENTS: my friend Jennifer gave her son a caprisun Saturday and he told her it tasted funny. She took a sip and said it tasted like straight alcohol. Cut it open and it was nothing but mold inside. Evidently, this happens a lot. They say the lack of preservatives leaves them susceptible to fermentation. I will never let Delo drink another. FYI: this pouch expires April 2013 and we don’t own a delorian to go “back to the future” so it wasn’t expired.

God bless, have a great day!”

 

 

Now it was up to capri sun to see what they would do about this and their reaction was better than anyone could have hoped. They pointed out that since their product uses no artificial preservatives there is always a chance for mold to grow. Then they had the mold tested and found that it was the same type that forms on bread and fruit. This mold, unless ingested regularly poses no danger to people. Then the company went on to invest millions in new packaging and a new design for their drink pouches. All Capri Sun pouches now have a see-through plastic bottom so that you can tell at a glance whether the drink is fresh.

 

This is a success story. The company heard the concern of its patrons and went extreme lengths to reassure the public. When it comes to mold it is always better to be sure.