Fungus formation is a process in which food deteriorates to the point in which it is not edible to humans or its quality of edibility becomes reduced. Fungus is an external force that is responsible for spoilage of food. If the fungi growing on food are the kind that produces mycotoxins, such foods are likely to be poisonous. When you notice fungus, just dispose of that food immediately as it can be dangerous to eat.
Fungus formation is a rapid and inevitable process when you don’t take adequate preventive measures. Improper food storage is a leading cause of fungus formation. The water activity of the food determines the type of mould spoiling the food. It feasts on food items that you leave unattended and spoil it. Food spoilage due to mould includes off-flavours, mycotoxins contamination, discolouration and rotting.
If your house is warm and humid, food left in the open will spoil quickly. Refrigerators set above 40 F trigger the growth of fungus in food. If one food starts to spoil, it may contaminate everything else if not removed immediately. Besides plenty of moisture sources, there is also a lot of organic material i.e. food in the kitchen that aids fungus to grow on. The way to get them out of your house is to get the contaminated stuff outside and put it in the trash.
Your surroundings are full of moulds and you can’t totally avoid them. However, you can surely prevent them to a great extent by implementing a few things:
Set your refrigerator at low temperature that may prevent fungus from growing freely. Monitor foods for signs of spoilage. Check your refrigerated food daily. If any food starts to spoil, remove it immediately. Use freezer for long-term storage.
Clean out your refrigerator twice a week with a solution made by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda and one litre of water. Mix well and wipe off your refrigerator from inside with this solution. After that, clean it with a sponge dipped in plain water and squeezed, in the end. Dry with a clean cotton cloth.
Keep all the food vacuum-sealed so that the fungus can’t get in your food. Food should be stored separately in tightly sealed containers. Remove as much air as possible from the containers.
Ventilate your kitchen regularly by opening windows or doors to decrease kitchen’s humidity. Make sure to clean up any spilt liquid immediately. Switch on exhaust fans while cooking to decrease the humidity caused by this process.
Keep your kitchen sink clean since fungus needs organic material to grow on. The leftover food particles in the sink can lead to fungus formation. Pour drain cleaner or a fungus killing product such as vinegar or bleach down the drain time to time. It may help you get rid of mould if there’s any in the drain of your sink.
Mould can easily grow on chopping boards. Moisture from cutting food as well as small food particle remains a perfect condition for the fungus to grow. Use vinegar to wash cutting boards. Leave vinegar for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Wash the used dishes properly immediately after you use them or at least once a day. It may prevent fungus growing on any leftover food in the dish. If you come across fungus growing on dishes, simply wash them with normal dish-cleaning soap and water and they’re safe for use again.
Fungus needs moisture, oxygen and proper temperature range in order to develop. Removing the moisture through heat can slow or stop the growth of fungus. This process is called dehydration that makes food lighter, smaller and easier to store and transport.
You can prevent food from fungus by using traditional process of canning. Many fruits and vegetables can be canned safely. Canned food items must be cooked for a minimum amount of time to ensure that all bacteria are killed. The fungus can grow quickly in canned foods that have been improperly processed.
Fruits and vegetables are rotting foods. Such foods are a favourite place for mould to grow. Look out for rotten food in places like fruit trays and bottom shelves of your fridge and rid them.
Fungal spoilage of dairy products as manifested by the presence of a wide variety of metabolic byproducts, causing off-odours and flavours in addition to visible changes in colour or texture. Store them in a refrigerator and consume before the date of expiry.