Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread?


To eat or to toss, that is the question. Eating moldy bread depends on the type of bread, the type of mold, and you. Making a decision to eat moldy bread also depends on the extent of the mold.

How much mold is there?


If you see a few minute specks of mold on one bun or one piece of bread in an entire loaf then it will most likely be appropriate to eat the bread. The most common bread mold actually is a precursor to penicillin. This does not mean that the mold has penicillin in it.




If one piece of a loaf is moldy then you can use the rest of the pieces that are not next to the moldy piece and toss the moldy piece of bread and the pieces next to it.

You might consider heating a slightly moldy piece of bread (just a few small spots of mold) in the microwave. Microwave radiation will usually kill most fungi – mold is a fungus.

If your bread or bun is covered in mold then you should toss the bread. The United States Food and Drug Administration supports these recommendations.


What kind of bread is it?


Making the decision to eat or throw away moldy bread depends on the type of bread. Different types of bread preferentially support different types of mold. Some molds can cause illnesses that include gastrointestinal problems like cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some breads can support molds that are life threatening.

The more porous a bread is the more dangerous a mold can be. Porous breads allow the mold to spread into the layers of bread that you cannot see. The growth that you see on bread is only a small part of the mold organism. It is more likely that a mold has penetrated deeply into more porous breads like muffins.

Toss porous breads that have mold.


The type of mold is important

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Different molds have different chemistries. Most molds are harmless to the majority of people.

Unless you are a trained mycologist, know a trained mold expert, or are willing to pay to have the mold on your bread identified you should throw the moldy bread out.


The decision depends on your allergies

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Many people are allergic to mold. The allergy can produce as little as a runny nose or can produce anaphylactic shock and possibly death.

If you know that you are allergic to mold of any kind you should throw moldy bread out.

The bottom line on moldy bread

Lance Ito

You are probably safer throwing most moldy bread out. A few tiny green specks on a piece of bread will usually not harm a person that is not allergic to a particular mold.

The expense of hospitalization and treatment for an allergic reaction to eating mold or the inconvenience of a short spell of vomiting and diarrhea is just not worth the cost of a few pieces of bread or an entire loaf.

When in doubt, throw it out.


If you're desperate, you can, in theory, throw it out.