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Nutrition Q & A

Should I Worry About Moldy Food?

If you find foods in your refrigerator or pantry that have mold on them, use the following guidelines to handle the moldy foods properly:

  • Do not sniff the moldy item as it may cause respiratory problems.
  • If food is covered with mold, discard it. Put it into a small paper bag or wrap it in plastic and dispose in a covered trash can that children and animals can’t get into.
  • Clean the refrigerator or pantry at the spot where the food was stored.
  • Check nearby items the moldy food might have touched.


Most foods with mold should be discarded, but exceptions may be made for the following items:

  • Fruits and vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, etc.  Cut one inch around and below the mold. (Discard soft fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, berries, etc.)
  • Hard cheeses. Cut one inch around and below the mold. Be careful that the knife does not contaminate non-moldy areas of the cheese. Re-wrap tightly and refrigerate.
  • Dry salami or cured country ham. Scrub mold off the surface.

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