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Q & A: Molds that Grow on Food

by Joslyn

What types of Mold Grows on Food?


On December 15, 2007, a reader requested the following:

Informative Request:

I really need to know what type of mold grows on the following food:

Lunch Meat (Chicken Breast)
Mozzarella Cheese

I cant seem to find this info anywhere…so if anyone could help me as soon as possible it would be much appreciated.


Different types of mold grow on different types of food.

Some molds cause severe health problems and sickness quickly where as others progressively worsen over time. Molds that contain mycotoxins are the cause of the illness from mold exposure.

Listed in the following are types of mold that typically grow on different foods:


Cauliflower is susceptible to a type of mold called White Mold or Sclerotinia Sclerotiorum.

This mold causes the vegetable to have to have a dark, green greasy or water soaked appearance.

Tomatoes & Raspberries

Both of these fruits can be assaulted with gray mold, or botrytis blight. Fruits or vegetables affected by this type of mold usually contain a visible grayish fuzz.

Lunch Meat (Chicken Breast)/ Hotdogs

According to the USDA, the following are the most common types of mold that can grow on meats and poultry:

Alternaria, Aspergillus, Botrytis, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Geotrichum, Monilia, Manoscus, Mortierella, Mucor, Neurospora, Oidium, Oosproa, Penicillium, Rhizopus and Thamnidium. They are most certainly not limited to these types however.


I would recommend the following site for more information: USDA Mold Facts


Pita, because it is a type of bread, will most commonly develop the same forms of mold that other breads do.

Two of the most common are Rhizopus, a blackish fuzzy fungus, and Penicillium, which is a bluish-grayish-greenish fuzzy fungus usually having a white border.

Breads are of course not limited to these two types.

Yogurt/Mozzarella Cheese

As Mozzarella cheese and yogurt are both dairy products, and of course mozzarella is a soft cheese, the most common type of mold that can be grown is Penicillium.

Aspergillus is another common mold that grows on dairy products. Soft dairies such as yogurt, sour cream, and soft cheeses (mozzarella, etc) should be disposed of quickly.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

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Tyne March 15, 2009 - 3:14 pm

When cheese is made how much mold is in the following types of cheese:
blue cheese?

Ken Wingate January 14, 2010 - 12:44 pm

I have ajar of jalapenos and there is mould on top of the fluid. How can I keep the jalapenos for some time longer?

Lexi May 3, 2010 - 5:07 pm

I Have a project due tommarow (may 4th)do u have the diffrent types of mold on ur website?

Linda June 16, 2011 - 6:06 pm

I eating my favorite soup, vegetable beef soup. on spoon was black mold, soft yet hard and slimmy attached to potatoes and carrots about size of a quarter. sent specimen in to company in the bag they sent to me to put this ugley stuff in. results; mold pellicle unknown cause. within 24 hours i was in the hosp. fever lathargic very ill. stayed 4 days, quarenteed me because they really didn’t know what i had, bloodwork was so bad I shouldn’t had been living. I tried to tell them it was from the molded soup I had eaten, but they just didn’t believe me. My doctor now claims it was food poisoning. oh and the company sent me a twenty dollar check. I have sores in nose, was on so much medicine in the hospital cause they tried everything to diagnose me. they finaly said that it was probably SIRS.

. I am not cashing their silly twenty dollar check, One thing I learned, don’t ever buy a can that has a tiny tiny dent in it, bacteria can get in. ony comments?

Linda June 26, 2011 - 10:09 pm

On June 16th,2011, I shared a story about my favorite soup(vegetable beef soup and found black mold attached to potatoes and carrots. could someone please respond to this? thank you Linda.

Linda June 26, 2011 - 10:12 pm

could someone respond to my June 16th story about mold found on potatoes and carrots in vegetable and beef soup. Has anyone else had this problem in campbell’s soup?

Gregory Restoration January 7, 2013 - 6:07 pm

I am always finding mold on my bread loaves! I hate to have to throw it away!

Julie April 9, 2014 - 3:38 am

My son was sick all over he’s cloths my washer was not working for a few day so there went black spots all over is it bad for for him as I have washed then but the black spots are still there


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