If you have a mold allergy, you’ve likely been advised to remove all sources of mold from in and around your house. But it doesn’t stop there. Some foods you eat include mold (intentional and unintentional) as well. Always check your food for the unintentional variety: moldy bread or tortillas, mold on the inside of a jar of spaghetti sauce, etc. Removing the surface mold does not remove the roots of the mold. It’s best to throw these away. Other sources of mold may be part of the food.
Mushrooms are a fungus and may contain mold. If you have a mold allergy, avoid all types of mushrooms, cooked or raw. Mushrooms can be found in salads, soups, casseroles, quiches and sauces. Many vegetarian dishes include mushrooms for added bulk and texture. When ordering a meal at a restaurant, be sure to ask about the ingredients and let the server know you have an allergy.
Some dairy products are fermented and contain mold. Avoid all cheese, but in particular, avoid blue cheese and other cheeses that contain visible mold. Fermented dairy products include sour cream, buttermilk, and sour milk. Stay away from these as well. Watch out for baked goods that contain buttermilk. These include pancakes and scones. Always ask your server.
Cured, pickled and smoked meats and fish have a long shelf life and may contain high levels of mold. As a rule, avoid any meat that’s more than 24 hours old. This may seem difficult with lunch meats and smoked fish, but the guideline will keep you healthy. When cooking fish or meat, purchase it fresh from the butcher and ask about the age. Never buy frozen.
Other Fermented Foods
Sauerkraut, pickles, pickled onions, olives, capers, salad dressing, dried fruits, wine and beer, soy sauce, canned juices, and breads that have a lot of yeast (sourdough and pumpernickel) could all trigger an allergic response if you are sensitive to mold.
Use your best judgment, and always let a restaurant know about your allergy. If you are going to introduce a food to test it, be sure to test only one food at a time.