It’s not entirely possible to stop food from going bad–at one point or another, you’re bound to find mold growing in that basket of raspberries that’s been sitting in your fridge for a few days. In the unfortunate case that you do find mold on a food item, you should toss it.
But before you get too discouraged, there are ways you can help keep your food fresher, longer.
Quick tips for preventing food mold
- When buying produce at the market or grocery store, pick the freshest and healthiest-looking pieces. Examine each item for bruising, softness, oxidation or signs of mold before you buy it and avoid any items that look overly ripe.
- Check the manufacturing date on pre-packaged food and try to pick the most recently packed items. Same goes for meat, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
- Keep food covered until you’re ready to eat it to minimize the risk of cross-contamination with bacteria, mold, dust and debris in the environment. Use plastic wrap to cover foods you want to stay moist such as fresh fruits, vegetables, salads and cheeses.
- Rinse the contents of canned goods under water and store them in your fridge in tightly sealed plastic containers.
- Refrigerate leftovers and use them within four days.
- Clean your fridge and kitchen counters regularly. Mold spores from contaminated food can build up on kitchen counters, in refrigerators, on dish cloths, as well as in sponges and other cleaning utensils.
Additional cleaning tips
- Clean the inside of the refrigerator every few months with one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in a quart of water. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.
- Replace sponges at least once a week and always use clean dish clothes and towels. If you notice a musty smell coming from a sponge or towel, replace it immediately.
- Make sure that the relative humidity in your home is between 30% and 50%, especially in the warmer months, when mold is known to flourish.
If you find that the mold has spread and become a larger issue in the house, you need to take action. Never hesitate to seek professional help from a certified mold removal company.