Mold Health Issues - Exposure Sources and Prevention - Food

Food

Molds that are most often found on meat and poultry are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Botrytis, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Geotrichum, Monilia, Manoscus, Mortierella, Mucor, Neurospora, Oidium, Oosproa, Penicillium, Rhizopus and Thamnidium.

Roughly 25% of the world's food is contaminated by mycotoxins according to the World Health Organization. Grains incur considerable losses both in field and storage due to pathogens and insects. Some of the pathogens and resultant mycotoxins reduce the nutritional quality of the product. Mycotoxins are toxigenic fungal compounds that can cause cancer and suppress growth.

Mycotoxins contaminate grains and other food products across the globe and can significantly impact human health. They can be found growing on grains before harvest and in storage. When ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through skin, mycotoxins may reduce appetite and general performance, and cause sickness or death in some cases.

Mold growing in or on field corn and peanuts are the ones most likely to produce aflatoxin.

Prevention of mold exposure from food is generally to not buy or to discard food that has mold growths on it. Also, mold growth in the first place can be prevented by the same concept of mold growth, assessment, and remediation that prevents air exposure. In addition, it is especially useful to clean the inside of the refrigerator, and having clean dishcloths, towels, sponges and mops.

Ruminants are considered to be resistant to the toxic effects of mycotoxins, presumably due to their superior mycotoxin-degrading microbes. This suggests that since mycotoxins are difficult to digest by human microbes due to better degradation by rumen microbes as compared to mono-gastric animals like humans. The carryover of toxins in animal food may have severe consequences on human health.

However, in China in December 2011, a scandal involving high levels of carcinogen aflatoxin M1 in mengniu brand milk was discovered due to cows eating mildewed feed.

Read more about this topic:  Mold Health Issues, Exposure Sources and Prevention

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