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If one of the blueberries in the batch has grown mold, are they all tainted?
January 24, 2007 9:22 PM   Subscribe

SpoiledFruitFilter: If one of the blueberries in the batch has grown mold, are they all tainted?

When a little piece of your food has grown mold, is it all moldy (but you just can't see it?)? I've heard that when you see a little bit of mold on part of a loaf of bread then it's really everywhere, you just can't see it yet. Is that true? Is it the same with blueberries, strawberries, etc.?
posted by josh.ev9 to Home & Garden (16 answers total)
 
No. I've eaten lots of blueberries where I've had to pick out the odd bad one. Just chuck out the nasty squishy ones and wash the remaining. It's fine.
posted by Listener at 9:26 PM on January 24, 2007


Heavens, I'm not sure I've ever eaten a pint of blueberries that didn't have at least one or two go a bit funky. I just pick out the soft ones, throughly rinse the rest, and move on with my blueberry-eating day.

Of course, I've been known to do a similar thing with bread. Although I'm also too fond of runny cheese and fermented pickles to be the kind of person who gets tense about a little mold.
posted by mostlymartha at 9:38 PM on January 24, 2007


If one piece of bread has mold on it, it probably is all over the bread. It's still edible though, just cut off the visibly moldy parts. Most mold just tastes bad, and doesn't really do much harm.
I remember in high school cooking/sewing class our teacher told us that if part of something is moldy, you can eat the non moldy part unless it is a spread or liquid (in which case all hope is lost).

Blueberries will be fine, just wash them.
posted by Count at 9:55 PM on January 24, 2007


The only food item that a tiny spot of mold will make me throw away an entire item is cheese.
posted by shanevsevil at 10:01 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Know what? I don't mind the visual, but sometimes, especially with berries, I can taste a moldy taste. In that case, they all get chucked because, well, ew. But I think with washable food like fruit, you can even cut moldy portions off and wash the remainder and it's ok. I mean, if you can't taste it and it's not ebola, there's not much of an issue, is there?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:20 PM on January 24, 2007


Cheese? Don't throw away cheese. But do cut off a fair bit more than you can see.
posted by Listener at 10:30 PM on January 24, 2007


Does the same advice hold true for those (like myself) with mold allergies?
posted by nadawi at 12:42 AM on January 25, 2007


Its not that the blueberry suddenly grew mold. Neither did the bread.

It just grew enough to form a colony that you can see.
posted by dendrite at 12:50 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why take the chance, are they really that expensive?
posted by isopropyl at 1:46 AM on January 25, 2007


My parents always told me that you can eat mouldy cheese as long as you cut off the mouldy part (unless it's supposed to be mouldy), because the mould doesn't get very far into the cheese. Mouldy bread, on the other hand, should be thrown out because if there's mould on the surface it's probably all through the bread.

On the other hand, I used to live with a Latvian guy who told stories about some kind of super-dense black bread that Latvians apparently ate even when it was completely covered in mould. He also ate a piece of fish that had been in the freezer for six months, though, so I'm not sure how much value I should give his food storage advice.

As for blueberries, all of them have some mould on them all of the time, it's just that some of them have enough for you to see. Just wash the ones with invisible mould and you'll be fine.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:47 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


You're fine. One moldy blueberry doesn't taint the whole batch.
posted by desuetude at 6:28 AM on January 25, 2007


My parents always told me that you can eat mouldy cheese as long as you cut off the mouldy part (unless it's supposed to be mouldy), because the mould doesn't get very far into the cheese.

We're heading further afield of the question, but this applies to hard cheeses only. Soft cheeses should be discarded.

Source: Mayo Clinic article "Moldy cheese: is it OK to eat?"
posted by bcwinters at 7:33 AM on January 25, 2007


For cheese worker here: if the mold on your cheese is pink, toss the whole thing. I've never, per the Mayo Clinic's advice, cut off an inch of cheese from around the moldy spot - sometimes that would leave me with no cheese! - and never had bad effects.

What everyone else has said about blueberries.
posted by rtha at 8:22 AM on January 25, 2007


I'll take a quasiscientific stab and say the "if you see it anywhere, it's everywhere" idea probably varies from food to food. Fungi tend to go through a stage where they absorb as much nutrient as they can get at, then they fruit - visible molds are the fruiting bodies, they're broadcasting spores. With bread, a big porous sponge, the invisible invasion is likely to be quite extensive by the time fruiting occurs. Whereas a blueberry, being a self-contained little unit, might easily have only a few that are seriously infected (perhaps due to greater breakage of the skin or whatnot) while the rest remain relatively hermetically sealed in their little purple jackets.

If you see mold, though, you do likely have spore exposure meaning the remaining fruit will likely go off faster. Give it another thorough wash and pick out anything marginal. And if it tastes musty, of course, chuck it. nadawi, I think the take-home lesson is that there can be extensive, invisible mold presence prior to fruiting, so I'd say no, people who are allergic should be more circumspect and avoid food altogether that shows any sign of mold.
posted by nanojath at 10:10 AM on January 25, 2007


As per the Mayo clinic, I will now discard all my Brie that has mold on it.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:20 PM on January 25, 2007


Bread, cheese, Mayo... hmm its snacktime!
posted by upc_head at 4:20 PM on January 25, 2007


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