A ‘food disgust test’ sparked debate on Twitter about what moldy foods are safe to eat.
A food safety expert said you can cut mold off firm fruit and marmalade.
She said to avoid soft cheeses, yogurts and pasta sauces if they are moldy.
Moldy food has been the talk of Twitter this week because of a quiz that measures what puts people off food.
The ‘food disgust test’ created by IDRlabs — a website with articles and quizzes based on scientific research — asks users to rank 32 food-related statements on a scale from disagree to agree. At the end of the quiz, the user is told which categories disgust them the most, which is what prompted chatter on Twitter.
“Categories of disgust” in the quiz include animal flesh, hygiene, human contaminants, mold, fruit, fish, vegetables, and insect contaminants.
In the mold category, for example, users are asked to rank how acceptable they think it is to scrape the mold off hard cheese, cut the mold off a slice of bread, and whether they eat blue cheese.
One prompt says: “It is gross if a chef in a restaurant tastes a soup with a spoon without washing it every time he does so”
Another says: “It is sickening to eat bread from which mold has been cut away”
Twitter users debated which foods its safe to cut around the mold and eat, and which aren’t.
In a Twitter thread viewed 6 million times, one user wrote: “That so many of you are apparently eating the not-visible-moldy parts of moldy bread actually explains a lot.”
Food safety expert Sylvia Anderson told Insider that, depending on the food, it’s sometimes OK to cut the mold off and eat it.
Foods you can safely cut mold off and eat include marmalade and firm fruit
With food prices going up, a lot of people will be cutting the mold off products, Anderson said.
“If I was cutting mold off anything, I’d cut an inch off the product,” she said.
She said firm fruit and veggies are fine, but don’t put your knife in the mold in case of cross-contamination.
You can also cut off the mold when it comes to hard cheese and hard salami, he said.
The quiz asks users if they agree or disagree with the statement: “I will not eat marmalade from which mold has been removed from the surface.”
On the Twitter thread, a user said they were terrified of the “moldy marmalade people.”
However, Anderson said she thought skimming the mold off jelly and marmalades and eating what’s underneath is fine. “It’s got quite a lot of sugar,” she said, which is a preservative.
She knows others wouldn’t want to eat it, however, but said it’s all down to personal preference.
Foods you can’t cut the mold off include yogurt and pasta sauces
In terms of foods to avoid, Anderson said she wouldn’t eat foods like yogurt, sour cream and soft cheese if they had mold on them. Even if you cut it off, there’s still moisture underneath where it could still grow.
When it comes to pasta sauces, Anderson said “definitely not” to spoon off the mold. “And that’s a real bummer because I bought really expensive pesto sauce,” she said.
Even if you can’t see any more mold after scraping it away, that doesn’t necessarily mean the food is edible. It’s not just the case of being a bit gross as some molds produce toxic substances that can cause an allergic reaction, so it’s better to be err on the side of caution, he said.
Anderson said she had cut the mold off the last piece of bread when desperate for a slice of toast. “But then when I’ve got to eat it, the smell is disgusting,” she said. It’s generally not advisable to eat bread that has had mold on it, even if you cut it off.
Read the original article on Insider