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Is that cheese a little *too* stinky?

August
13

We’ve all done it: Opened the package of cheese, noticed a little whitish substance on it, looked over our shoulder, scraped it off and served it.

But we’ve also wondered if that was the right thing to do. And with little ones in the house, that concern has deepened.

So what’s a mom or dad to do? Should we or shouldn’t we rip the moldy crust off the bread and eat it anyway?

Fortunately, ABC News wondered the same thing and asked the experts. (Though, even cooler, there are sensors that can tell when milk’s gone bad or when other food’s been spoiled by salmonella, e.Coli or other bacteria.

First off:

“It may not taste good, that doesn’t mean it’s going to make you sick,” said Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia in Griffin. … “There’s a big difference between spoilage and what’s going to make you sick,” Doyle said. “Often spoilage bacteria will outgrow the harmful bacteria and protect [the food].”

The ones more likely to make you sick are the ones you can’t see or smell, he told ABC.

Check the temp in your fridge: For leftovers, “no more than four days at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees centigrade.” Fresh food can be frozen at zero Farenheit and should be good, more or less, forever. And the 40 degrees F is good for three days with raw chicken, ground beef, cuts of beef and lamb.

The slimy film on food or other visual or aural cues can help you realize that the food is starting to get too warm, however.

So wait until the end of your shopping trip to grab the meat/poultry/fish. The less time it has to get warm, the better.

And good news on the mold front, so long as you’re not allergic:

Most mold that grows on bread or fruits isn’t toxic, according to M. A. Cousin, a food microbiology and mold expert at Purdue University.

So go ahead and cut off that mold.

No one’s looking!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 at 6:57 pm by Amy Vernon. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: bacteria, mold, spoil

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