General Question

Poser's avatar

How dangerous is bread mold?

Asked by Poser (7782 points ) August 7th, 2008

Say, hypothetically, someone ate several bites of a sandwich before noticing spots of “fuzz” on the bread. Should that person expect to get sick, or should they expect to be especially resilient to illness? Maybe superpowers?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

24 Answers

trumi's avatar

Should be fine, from past experience.

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

They will probably find themselves feeling particularly normal, as if nothing special had occurred at all.

gailcalled's avatar

Better fuzz on the bread than on the sandwich meat…

psyla's avatar

Bread mold is totally edible and nontoxic, it’s a delicacy in Madagascar where they culture bread mold spores. They use the bread mold as a seasoning on several seabird recipes. They also have an unusual flavorful mixed drink they call the Scalmari – vodka and octopus.

augustlan's avatar

There is a theory that a certain type of mold in grain caused odd behaviours in some of the people in Salem, thus launching the infamous witch trials…so if you start cackling, or something, watch out!

psyla's avatar

That is true, their grain become contaminated with ergot and so they became hallucinatory and were arrested with a court date to be tried for the crime of witchcraft. So there really were no witches but there were plenty of alien abductions such as what happened at Roanoke.

shilolo's avatar

Not to be a wet blanket, but bread mold, in rare cases, can cause serious disease. Bread mold is known as Rhizopus stolonifer. Multiple rhizopus species, including R. stolonifer, can cause a life threatening illness known as zygomycosis. This disease is an invasive fungal disease that occurs in immunocompromised individuals such as those who have received a bone marrow transplant. Because the molds that cause this illness are found ubiquitously in the environment, it can be hard to ascribe to bread mold per se, but it certainly can be a cause of this illness.

Now for the good news. If you have a normal immune system, you should be just fine. Eat away!

jholler's avatar

isn’t that where penicillin comes from?

shilolo's avatar

No. Not all molds are the same. Penicillin comes from Penicillium, a completely different Order of mold.

jholler's avatar

what does it grow on?

shilolo's avatar

Penicillium species can contaminate foods and cheeses, yes, but penicillium is completely different from Rhizopus.

jholler's avatar

so if it’s growing on your food, it could possibly be penicillium chrysogenum?

jholler's avatar

learn something new every day…

Trustinglife's avatar

Shilolo, I’m so glad you’re here and freely contributing your expertise to us. I think I speak for many of us when I say

THANK YOU!

gailcalled's avatar

@shi; ubiquitiously – I sigh with pleasure.

shilolo's avatar

Whew… Not only did I spell it correctly (I think), but I remembered to put the adverb behind the conjugated verb, and not in between (i.e. are ubiquitously found…).

gailcalled's avatar

—longer sigh—-

Trustinglife's avatar

And you know the way to a woman’s heart!

shilolo's avatar

Maybe English teachers or librarians… ;-)

gailcalled's avatar

Or French teachers, astronomers,Directors of College Placement or quilters.

(Or perhaps 28-yr-old Hooters’ waitres?)

Trustinglife's avatar

Gail, did you just spell waitresses incorrectly? (gasp)

gailcalled's avatar

I did. I have house guests and am rushing. But I am thrilled, thrilled that so many of you are turning into good editors. Hat’s off, Trusting.

gooch's avatar

Absolutly safe I have eaten it many times then noticed it and said oh well

duhduhduh's avatar

Penicillium (pen-uh-sill’-ee-um) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, one of the most
common genera found worldwide in soil and decaying vegetation and indoors in dust, food,
and various building materials. Common bread mold is a species of Penicillium. Spores usually
cannot be distinguished from Aspergillus on non-cultured samples (like tape-lifts and air-o-
cells). It is reported to be allergenic, to cause certain infections in compromised
individuals, and some species do produce toxins unhealthy to humans.”

See this newspaper article for an interesting perspective on some of the hazards of mold:

http://www.iuoe.org/cm/iaq_asthmold.asp?Item=317

J. Elliott

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