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Mould in foods – health risks and how to avoid them

FAQ issued 25 June 2024

In nature, mould is everywhere. It spreads via tiny spores and, in this way, makes its way onto foods. Under the right conditions, mould can propagate on and then in foods, such as bread, fruit, or jam. Mould can produce poisonous substances, known as mycotoxins, which can be harmful to health even in small amounts. Possible adverse health effects range from vomiting and diarrhoea to liver or kidney damage and cancer. Mycotoxins could be found in plant-based foods such as oil-rich seeds, nuts, grains, fruits, and vegetables, but also in animal food products such as dairy products. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has compiled frequent questions and answers regarding mould and mould toxins in foods.



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