What happens if you eat moldy bread?

While bread is often known for its long shelf life, mold is an unfortunately common occurrence. Mold is a fungus composed of very tiny spores that float through the air and land on the food that we eat. So, what happens if you eat moldy bread without knowing?

Consuming mold can cause allergic reactions or other health issues, so it’s best to discard the loaf if you spot visible mold roots or spores. You probably won’t feel awful after eating a piece of moldy bread, but that doesn’t mean you should do it or make it a habit. The toxins or allergens present in mold can trigger allergic reactions and adversely affect your immune system.

What happens if you eat moldy bread

Since mold is a secondary infection causing dangerous toxins that your body must fight, if you eat it in any quantity, the result will be severe mold illness. Your body will begin to expel toxins that can cause kidney and liver failure, serious respiratory problems, nervous system reactions, and even paralysis.

These reactions are very serious. The symptoms can take up to 1 week to manifest and may even appear from one day to another.

How long after eating moldy bread will I get sick?

This depends on the type of bread, how much you have eaten, your age, and your general health. If you ingest poisonous mold, you could get sick right away or later. People with asthma or allergies to mold may get sick faster than others.

Furthermore, the length of time it takes to become sick depends on the type of mold you’re ingesting. If you see a spotty, blue, or white substance on bread, chances are it is safe to eat. 

Sometimes, people will start to experience symptoms of poisoning between one and three days after eating the bread. The symptoms of poisoning can include headache, nausea, and vomiting.

Why does mold grow on bread?

Many factors affect the growth of mold, but temperature and humidity are two of the main factors that can make or break your bread’s mold-free status. Bread contains natural sugars and starches that mold thrives on. When mold spores land on food, they grow and make more mold spores. Keep your bread in a dry, clean place with plenty of ventilation to slow down the growth of mold.

Another reason why mold grows on food is their need to survive. Mold needs nutrients, moisture, and oxygen to grow. Loaves of bread are made of carbohydrates that come from sugar and starch. The fungus uses carbohydrates as a food source too.

Also, mold is a type of fungus that grows best in moist, dark, and warm places. Bread contains moisture and often lives in warm, moist kitchens. This makes it very easy for mold to grow on a piece of bread, which is why the life of most bread is so short.

When the bread is left out for a few days, mold can grow on it because of the presence of mold spores. Mold spores are everywhere in the environment, but when mold spores land on moist food, they begin to grow and multiply. 

Can you eat moldy bread if you toast it?

Despite the fact that toast is pretty delicious and moldy bread is not, you can’t toast your way out of the mold. Mold lives below the surface of the bread, and some molds may be toxic to humans. The FDA recommends against eating moldy foods even if you trim away the contaminated areas because microbes tend to harbor in molds.

If you toast moldy bread, you may get sick because the heat will not kill the mold spores. In addition, while it is safe to toast bread, it’s not a sure-fire way to kill the mold. Make sure you avoid eating the edges where the mold may be spreading and check for visible signs of mold before toasting your bread.

Otherwise, bread toasting does not always remove all mold spores inside. Moldy bread should not be fed to pets or other animals, as this can cause health issues for them.

What happens if you eat moldy bread

How does mold grow on food?

Mold grows on food when the spores in the air land on moist, organic surfaces. Once the spores find a home, they grow into colonies, and the mold spreads over time. Unlike most plants, mold does not need sunlight to survive, and once mold spores encounter a source of moisture, they germinate and begin to grow.

In addition, they don’t start growing until they find the right conditions, such as food and moisture. Most molds need food like fabric, paper, and leather; oxygen; temperature between 40°F and 100°F and moisture.

Mold grows from tiny spores that float through the air. You can’t see them, and they don’t hurt you. But when they find the right place, a moist place with the food, they grow into mold. 

Furthermore, molds produce millions of tiny, lightweight spores (tiny oblong seed-like particles) that are invisible to the naked eye unless they are congregated in large numbers. Usually white or brown in color, molds thrive wherever moisture and oxygen are present.

Types of bread mold

Bread mold is fungal growth on bread. There are many types of bread mold, and each type has a different color and scientific name. Bread mold can grow on virtually any food with a high carbohydrate content, such as bread, fruit, cheese, and leftovers. Here are the types of bead mold:

  • Black bread mold 

Black bread mold, also known as Rhizopus stolonifera, is a very common bread mold. Black bread mold grows in moist conditions, so it can also appear on fruits and vegetables that have high moisture content or are growing in a moist environment.

Once black mold appears on whatever food or plant, it causes rotting. What this means is that this particular mold can kill plants.

Black bread mold got its name from its appearance. It appears as green or blue patches on food, usually on bread, and when left untouched, the colored patches become black and have a splotchy center. 

In addition, bread mold should never be eaten because molds can cause allergic reactions in people with allergies and asthma. Although black bread mold is not dangerous, it can only cause mild nausea, vomiting, and indigestion.

  • Penicillium Bread Mold

Penicillium bread molds are quite different and even interesting. There are different types of Penicillium bread molds, but they are so similar. They are difficult to tell apart without some serious analysis. Some people use a type of Penicillium mold to flavor foods, while another type of Penicillium mold produces penicillin which is used as an antibiotic.  

Penicillium molds appear in white, grey, and blue patches. Like black bread mold, they are not dangerous if taken in small quantities or accidentally. However, some kinds of Penicillium molds produce mycotoxins which can cause illness and eventually lead to a type of cancer.

  • Cladosporium Bread Mold

Cladosporium bread mold is very irritating, especially to people with allergies. This mold produces a noticeable odor which makes it easier for people to notice it before eating it. It causes sneezing, coughing, and wheezing if exposure to them is prolonged.

Cladosporium mold appears as dark patches that range in color from black to deep green. They don’t usually cause immediate harm unless eaten by a person with allergies.

As mentioned earlier, this mold has a very strong smell, so it can cause nausea and vomiting. Cladosporium molds can also produce mycotoxins; you should avoid prolonged exposure.

Red mold on bread

Red mold is just one of the wide varieties of molds that might be found on bread. While the formation of mold is a relatively common occurrence (due to the high humidity in most refrigerators), some types have unusual coloration, such as red or blue.

Red mold on bread is the form the fungus takes when breaking down and decomposing organic matter. It doesn’t affect everyone and isn’t present in foods that contain preservatives or thickeners. In addition, since mold cannot grow in the air, dry food, or damp conditions, this is a good thing; it means that the red mold on your old neglected bread is protecting it from the growth of other microbes.

Also, if you see red mold on your bread, be careful. The mold is likely to be toxic Penicillium verrucosum or Penicillium nigricans, rather than the common but safe white or blue-green Penicillium camemberti that cheesemakers use to create Camembert and Brie. Red or pink colors in any mold may indicate the presence of mycotoxins.

Green mold on bread

Green mold is the most common bread mold. This mold is of the Chlorophyta variety of algae. It is a single-celled organism that can produce its own food through photosynthesis. In most cases, it produces a pink color, but some bread has antioxidants in them that react with the chlorophyll and make it turn green. Other colors of fungal growth, such as white and black, can also appear on bread. 

Furthermore, green mold on bread occurs when spores land on a piece of bread. The spores are able to grow in conditions with sufficient moisture and food, and also if there is adequate aeration. Green mold on bread is often associated with other molds as well.

In addition, green mold causes brown-to-black spots on bread. The openings where the mold spores are released are fuzzy and look like small mushrooms. The mold may be green, white, yellow, or black. The mold also has a musty odor. 

What happens if you eat moldy bread

Why does bread mold so fast?

Bread molds so fast because the fungus naturally breaks down starchy foods and releases carbon dioxide, which changes the crumb. Bread molds faster than most foods due to its high sugar content. Bread’s sugar combined with its soft texture makes the mold spores extremely active, and it is also the reason why a slice of bread will taste sweet.

In addition, mold starts to grow in bread when there is a lot of moisture and oxygen. Bread exposed to air gets moldy quickly because mold spores are constantly floating around us in the air. When these land on bread and find the right conditions, they grow and form fuzzy green or black spots, which are colonies of mold.

Also, there are a few things to consider. Bread is basically made from three ingredients: flour, water, and yeast. All three of the ingredients in bread are either food or a habitat for the yeasts and molds that cause it to spoil quickly. In addition, yeast cells that are present in the bread promote mold growth.

How long does it take for bread to mold?

There is no exact science to figuring out how long it takes for your bread to mold. The time it takes to mold depends on a range of factors, including the type of bread and the conditions in which you have stored it. 

Most types of bread take about 24 hours to become moldy. This is important to consider if you buy fresh bread from the store or bake your own bread at home. Mold can take on many different colors depending on the type of bread and mold, as well as how long it has been left out.

Supermarket loaves tend to have preservatives that delay the growth of mold, so they last longer than home-baked varieties.

Also, there is one exception to this rule, and it has to do with flour. If your flour is stored in the freezer and you use it, the bread will mold faster. Bacteria and molds in flour don’t die at room temperature, but they grow more slowly at lower temperatures. 

Does mold die when it dries out?

No, mold doesn’t die when it dries out. Although some species of mold will dry out and stop growing, mold spores, which are microscopic and easily airborne, can still cause sensitivity or allergic reactions to sensitized individuals.

Furthermore, it enters a dormant state and can reactivate when conditions are more favorable. With moisture sources gone and the dry conditions, mold will stop growing. But the dead spores will remain in place until proper mold removal is performed by a certified technician.

In addition, if you notice a mold problem in your home or business, it’s important to remove it quickly and thoroughly. Mold dries out when exposed to air. Just because you cannot see it does not mean that mold has gone away.

In fact, mold is almost impossible to kill. The best way to get rid of mold is to prevent it from growing in the first place by improving ventilation, keeping humidity levels low, and properly cleaning up water leaks or other moisture issues.

What should I do if I eat moldy bread?

It depends on the amount of bread that you have eaten, whether it was moldy or rotten and what kind of bread it was (homemade or commercial). But if you eat a moldy bread;

  • Don’t panic, but do take action. If you happen to see visible mold, then throw the bread away. Even if it doesn’t taste or smell bad, there are plenty of reasons to get rid of it.
  • If you have eaten moldy bread by accident, you should monitor yourself for any signs of a negative reaction, especially if you never eat bread like this or don’t know what kind of mold it is. If you begin to exhibit any symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, see a doctor right away.
  • If you’re severely allergic to mold, or if you have a compromised immune system or chronic lung disease, call your doctor because you may need treatment. Call your doctor if you have a weakened immune system and have eaten moldy bread or cheese. 
  • You should also see a doctor if your skin or eyes look irritated after touching mold spores. In most cases, mold allergies are harmless, but they can be irritating.

Can you get food poisoning from eating moldy bread?

You can get food poisoning from eating moldy bread if a large amount of mold spores is eaten. These mold spores could proliferate in the body because the immune system cannot fight them, which may cause infection and digestive problems. However, the immune system usually fights off bacterial and fungal infections, preventing food poisoning.

Furthermore, if you see moldy bread, don’t take your chances or cut off the moldy bits. No matter how healthy or sturdy you are, you’re probably going to get sick. It’s full of bacteria, and whatever that bacterium is doing to make the bread turn green or black can be harmful when it enters your digestive system.

In addition, inhaling spores may trigger breathing problems if you have a mold allergy. Mold spores are very resilient and are more likely to make you sick if you inhale them.

Is moldy bread safe to eat?

Moldy bread is rarely safe to eat. However, it may not always be possible to tell if the bread is unsafe. Eating moldy bread can also cause allergic reactions in some people. You may have sensitivity to certain types of mold on bread, so avoid this altogether by keeping any contact you have with moldy bread to a minimum.

Furthermore, it is quite common to see mold developing in bread; however, while it can be alarming, it is not always a reason to throw away your bread. There are many different types of molds, and they grow at different rates.

If you see some spotting on the surface of your bread or notice any sort of discoloration or softening, it’s a good idea to cut away the affected area. Be sure that your knife doesn’t touch any spot of mold (to avoid contamination), and throw away the piece that you remove. You can then consume the rest of the bread safely.

Can moldy bread give you diarrhea?

If you eat moldy bread (or fruit), it may cause some kind of allergic reaction in your body. Diarrhea can be a symptom of a lot of illnesses but is not considered very dangerous in the vast majority of cases.

Also, it depends on the type of moldy bread. Some types of molds can produce toxins called mycotoxins that may trigger diarrhea or other digestive problems. However, many types of mold are harmless, and you won’t get sick if you eat them.

Sometimes, though, the mold can be embedded deep in the bread. Eating moldy bread could make you sick, especially if you’re allergic or sensitive to molds. The symptoms look similar to food poisoning and include nausea and vomiting.

Why does bread mold faster in the fridge?

Bread molds faster in the fridge for a number of reasons. The high storage temperatures of most home refrigerators create a humid environment that causes bread to spoil. Also, bread is best stored at a low temperature and low humidity.

In addition, the real reason why bread molds so soon when kept in a refrigerator is because the moisture in it gets absorbed into the surroundings; this can create mold as it circulates through the appliance’s interior and condenses on other food items.

Fridges are perhaps the worst place to keep our bread. By keeping the loaf inside a fridge, you are simply shortening its shelf life. The simplest and most convenient method to store your bread is just by wrapping it in a cotton towel and keeping it out at room temperature, or else you can use a kitchen cupboard or any other closed spot (it’s better if you do not cover the wrapped loaf). It is best to use the wrapped up loaf within 2 or 3 days of buying it.

Can you eat three-month-old bread?

Whether or not a loaf of three-month-old bread is safe to eat depends on how it has been stored and how old it was when bought and how long it’s been outside of the freezer. Also, it depends on some conditions, like how much moisture is in the bread.

If properly stored and baked within the last week, bread can last a long time, even up to three months at room temperature. In fact, frozen bread may be good even longer. So don’t worry if you’ve found an old loaf in the back of your pantry or freezer.

However, you should consider these things before you decide to eat three-month-old bread.

  • Observe the bread’s quality. Look for mold or discoloration on the surface of the bread. 
  • Smell the bread. Pay attention to its aroma. 
  • Tear or squeeze a piece of bread and feel its texture, soft or hard? 
  • Try eating a small portion of bread and see how it tastes.

Can you freeze bread?

Freezing bread is an easy way to keep your loaf fresh for longer. To freeze, slice the bread first and wrap each slice in plastic before storing them in a freezer bag. Or, you can place the loaf in a plastic freezer bag and compress it before freezing. Remember to label and date your freezer bags.

Bread that is frozen will have a longer shelf life than bread that’s not frozen. If you don’t eat bread regularly and find yourself throwing much of it out, freeze it first. Although the flavor and texture will not be the same as fresh-baked bread, it is perfectly suitable for day-to-day uses, such as sandwiches and toast.

However, there’s definitely some debate over the best way to freeze your loaf and how long it will actually stay good in the freezer (some say up to 6 months, while others insist a week is truly all you get.


While it can be a bit unnerving when you find mold on bread, and you’re not sure of what happens if you eat moldy bread, the good news is that there’s no reason to panic; you can eat bread with mold on it. You cut off the mold and eat the bread. Most people accidentally eat mold and experience no ill effects.

However, some people are sensitive to molds. If you develop symptoms after eating moldy bread, it’s best to do one of the following: Visit your doctor. Visit urgent care if your primary care physician is unavailable.

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