Eating Moldy Food: When It's OK, When It's Not

Moldy food is a fact of life. Even if you do everything right, like refrigerating food promptly, mold can still show up in your favorite fare.

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by Sarah Klein

Even if you refrigerate promptly, moldy food is still a fact of life.

But is it safe to eat? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. "The average person doesn’t know which mold is harmful," says Michael P. Doyle, PhD, the director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, in Athens, Ga.

Mold can cause allergic reactions and produce toxic substances called mycotoxins and aflatoxins. This guide, adapted from the USDA, can help you decide if a moldy food is safe to eat.

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