Information about mould and mould disease
Kitchen is one of the places in the house where mould can easily establish itself. Especially prone to mould in kitchen areas are older period homes due to robust often improper construction and insufficient ventilation. High humidity in kitchen due to cooking and often washing and drying causes condensation with then allows mould to establish themselves and spread. Mould in kitchen is a particularly sensitive issue due to the storage of food which can get contaminated by mould. Eating mouldy food can have serious consequences for humans and pets.
The most susceptible areas for mould attack in kitchen are corners of windows, walls behind kitchen units, panels in poorly ventilated cupboards and areas behind and under kitchen appliances. It is important to check all these regularly to prevent mould to establish itself. Ensuring you maintain a kitchen health check will enable this environment to remain clean and fresh at all times.
Removing small areas of mould contamination could be easily done with a scrubber and detergent solution. Some areas such as windows, rubber and silicon seals will require periodic cleaning. If you encounter mould on a bigger scale such as in case mould behind kitchen units seeking a professional advice is recommended. When you removing mould you should take case for your personal protection as exposure to mould spores can have damaging effect on your health. You should always remove the mould with windows open to ventilate the kitchen and dilute the disturbed spores.
To prevent mould appearing in your kitchen you need to firstly find out and control all sources of moisture and moulds. The main sources of moisture in the kitchen are:
By far the most important source moisture is the cooker which should be always fitted with extraction. Extractor should always be vented outside. Many modern kitchens have carbon filter based extractions which do not have exhaust pipes. These extractors only remove odours but do not reduce the amount of moisture in the air. Ensuring that your kitchen is properly ventilated at all times will help reduce the possibility of moisture build-up and will therefore keep mould in kitchen at bay. You can further reduce the amount of moisture in the air by opening windows and wiping down any surface moisture as soon as possible.
Sometimes mould start to grow in the form of a very fine film on stored items of kitchen ware. This indicates that items were most likely improperly dried before storage and also that the cupboard has very poor ventilation. If you detect mould on your kitchen items you need to wash them thoroughly. There is no need to use strong chemicals just normal detergent liquid is sufficient. Never use bleach or other strong chemicals on items that will come into contact with food. If your items are dry and stored in dry cupboard there is no chance of mould getting onto them.
If you discover mould on items of food there is only one way you can do – throw them out. If you see only a small speck of mould on your bread the chances are that a significantly larger area of bread is already colonised by mould. The visible part of the mould colony is just the tip of the iceberg you can see.
Moulds release mycotoxins into the material they colonise. These chemical compounds are usually highly toxic to humans and animals and most importantly most of them are heat resistant to several hundred degrees. Cooking mouldy items will certainly kill the mould and destroy the spores but it will most certainly leave the mycotoxins untouched. This is especially applicable in cases of pet food which we may consider using if only slight contamination was present.
Rotting food such as fruit or vegetables is a favourite place for mould to grow. Look out for rotten food in places like the fruit bowl or the bottom of the fridge and always disposed of them when found mouldy.
Moulds are likely to build up in unused sinks, dishwashers and washing machines. When all these items are used regularly the build up is prevented by regular washing. However if we leave the house for a longer period of time it is quite common that we return to a stinky kitchen. To prevent the build up of mould and bacteria in these items it is recommended to put a bit of bleach or detergent into the drains just before you leave. The bleach or detergent will act a sterilising agent and keep the mould at bay.
If you have mould in your kitchen sink it should be easy to just scrub it away using water from the tap. If the mould is in the drain of your kitchen sink you may be able to get rid of it by removing the drain grate, if possible, and scrubbing down inside the drain.