Imagine if you go take some bread only to find mold spots all over it.
This guide will provide you with information on mold in bread, the causes, how to prevent it and how long does it take for bread to mold.
What Causes Mold in Bread?
In order to grow, mold needs the right environment. Temperature, moisture and ingredients play big factors.
Due to all the carbohydrates in bread, it is an ideal place for mold. As long as it has something to feed off, it will stay, absorb the nutrients and expand rapidly.
You might have heard where there’s moisture, there’s mold. Believe it or not, bread contains a lot of moisture on the inside.
The moisture moves outward and can affect the entire loaf. If the bread is in a plastic bag, the bag can become wet from the moisture which is easy to see and mold can quickly develop.
How Long Does It Take For Bread To Mold?
Once bread is left out, microorganisms in the air can get on it as well.
Depending on temperature, humidity and conditions, the microorganisms can spread and turn bread moldy within 4-7 days.
Different types of bread will get moldy faster than others, too. Anything bought in a store will last longer because it will contain preservatives.
Homemade bread won’t have preservatives and because of that, won’t last as long and will get moldy much faster.
Gluten-free bread and organic varieties also will get moldy quicker since they contain more moisture and fewer preservatives.
Dark breads like rye, oat and bran will grow mold faster too because they contain more moisture.
How To Tell When Bread is Moldy or Bad
It should be pretty easy to spot mold on bread. There are many visible signs such as green, black or white fuzzy spots.
When you see mold, you should discard the whole loaf. Don’t eat around it or cut off the moldy parts because it likely permeated more than what you can see.
In other words, mold grows inside bread and not just on the outside.
Other signs of bread that’s gone bad include:
- Foul smell
- Bad taste
What Happens If You Eat Moldy Bread?
It is best not to eat moldy bread. This can harm you and cause illness.
If you do eat moldy bread, you might feel nauseous. Most likely, it won’t be more serious than that but some can develop other symptoms such as an allergic reaction or food poisoning.
You will feel the effects within a few hours of consuming the bread.
Some molds create mycotoxins, and eating or inhaling those is dangerous. Mycotoxins are poisons you can’t see, which is why it’s best to discard the entire loaf when you find mold on bread.
The mycotoxins can cause digestive issues and weaken your immune system.
Should you have lingering effects and feel sick, see a doctor.
Best Ways To Store Bread
The best option for storing bread is to keep it in the bag it came in. Don’t store it at too high of a temperature or in too dark a place where mold thrives.
Keeping bread in sealed bags at room temperature where air can’t get in will make it last the longest. Another good option is to keep it in a paper bag opposed to a plastic one, as this will prevent moisture from collecting.
Storing it in the fridge isn’t recommended but it can work if done properly. It should be sealed well and contain no visible moisture.
Otherwise, bread left in the fridge can go stale quicker. It also will lose its freshness faster.
Freezing bread is a good option too. The low temperature prevents mold from growing, and bread can be kept frozen for months.
Keep in mind that after defrosting to prepare for use, the bread will lose some of its taste.
How To Prevent Bread From Getting Moldy
If you know you aren’t going to consume all the fresh bread you have right away, you can freeze it. This will allow it to last the longest and prevent it from growing mold.
Here are some other steps you can take to reduce the chances of your bread getting moldy or going bad:
- Eat it quickly, within a few days
- Make croutons, bread crumbs, bread pudding or another dish using what’s leftover
- Wipe away or dry any moisture you see inside a plastic bag with bread
- Don’t seal it up until the bread has completely cooled
- If you’re going to keep it out, seal it properly and store around room temperature
Bread will last about a week at most before it starts to mold. It’s important to store it the right way, keep it sealed and check for moisture and mold.
Keep in mind certain types and any store-bought bread will last longer than others or than homemade ones.
When you do find mold, throw out all the bread.