Can you eat slightly mouldy bread?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Can you eat slightly mouldy bread?” We will further look at what bread is and its ingredients, what moulds are, the safety of eating mouldy bread, the possible effects of eating mouldy bread, and how to store bread and prevent mould growth.

Can you eat slightly mouldy bread?

No, you can’t eat slightly mouldy bread. When it comes to bread, even a small amount of mould on a slice of bread indicates that the entire loaf is contaminated. Because bread is a soft food, mould spores can easily penetrate it and spread swiftly. 

It is not advisable to cut away the mouldy section and consume the other parts. There is nearly always more than meets the eye when it comes to mould on bread.   

What is bread?

Bread is a wet, kneaded, and sometimes fermented baked food product prepared from flour or meal. 

It has been created in various forms, utilising a range of materials and methods all across the world since prehistoric times.

What are the ingredients in bread?

Bread is a hydrated meal that bakers heat to make a solid loaf. It is normally made out of wheat or meal, a leavening agent, water, and salt.

  • Flour or meal makes up the carbohydrate content of bread. Whole wheat flour is the most popular flour, or finely ground rye, corn, seeds, nuts, and pseudo-grains are also used.
  • The leavening agent is what causes bread to rise, and it does so by releasing carbon dioxide, which is a result of fermentation. The fungus yeast consumes the carbohydrates in the bread dough and produces carbon dioxide in yeast bread.
  • Water hydrates the flour while also dispersing the ingredients throughout the dough.
  • Salt boosts the browning, taste, and texture of bread, as well as strengthens the gluten network within a loaf of bread.

What are moulds?

Moulds are small fungi that thrive on plant and animal materials and can produce poisons that cause sickness. 

In the environment, they perform a critical function by breaking down and digesting organic material. Moulds reproduce by releasing minute spores, which are comparable to plant seeds. 

Many spores are so small that they can easily float through the air and be carried long distances by even the lightest winds. 

Is it safe to eat slightly mouldy bread?

It is unsafe to eat slightly mouldy bread. A small quantity of mould on a loaf of bread means the whole loaf is contaminated. Mould spores can easily penetrate and spread through bread because it is a soft meal. 

You can’t get away with removing the mouldy section, as when it comes to mouldy bread, there is almost always more than what the eye sees.

If your loaf of bread is already cut, you may have some leeway. Although mould can still grow between the pieces, it will be more difficult. 

If you even consume a piece of mouldy bread, a couple of bites of infected bread is unlikely to make you sick. However, excessive consumption may have adverse effects on the body as mouldy bread is prone to carrying pathogenic bacteria.

What are the possible risks of eating mouldy bread?

It is impossible to tell what kind of mould is growing on your bread by looking at it, so assume it is dangerous and throw it away. 

Fungi that can grow on bread give it an off-flavour and may be damaging to your health. Some negative effects produced by mouldy bread include:

  • Even inhaling mould on bread, if you have a mould allergy without eating it can cause respiratory issues, including asthma.
  • If you are allergic to mould and eat it in bread or any other food, you may develop serious reactions, including life-threatening anaphylaxis, although this appears to be a rare occurrence.
  • Finally, breathing mould on bread can cause illness in people with weakened immune systems, such as those with poorly controlled diabetes, though this is an unusual situation.
  • Eating mouldy bread in mould-sensitive people can cause a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, and skin irritation.

How do you store and preserve bread from growing mould?

Bread can easily pick up spores from the air after baking, such as during slicing and packaging, but mould spores don’t usually survive baking. 

Under the correct conditions, such as a warm and humid kitchen, these spores can begin to proliferate. Thus, it is important to handle bread properly to avoid mould growth. 

  • Keep bread as dry as possible, and if there is visible moisture within the bread package, dry it with a paper towel or a clean cloth before sealing it, as mould thrives in moist environments.
  • Cover bread with napkins to protect the bread from airborne spores. Wait until fresh bread has completely cooled before packaging it to avoid soggy bread and mould.
  • Keep bread in the freezer to chill and reduce the growth of mould. Bread can be frozen to inhibit the growth without affecting the texture too much, and you only thaw what you need at a particular time. 


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “Can you eat slightly mouldy bread?” We have further looked at what bread is and its ingredients, what moulds are, the safety of eating mouldy bread, the possible effects of eating mouldy bread, and how to store bread and prevent mould growth.