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Old 11-25-2011, 10:31 AM   #1
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Mold - Meat, Fish?

We now know a lot about molds that our parents and grandparents were not aware of - molds ARE dangerous - and cannot usually be handled by just spooning the top off jam - or cutting off the edge of bread.

But I still have not found any definitive info on uncooked meat and fish

The FDA page

Molds On Food: Are They Dangerous?


only mentions salted meats (and says they can be eaten after removing surface mold) - but does say to discard cooked meat.

---

But what about fresh meat and fish? We've seen pictures of horrible green and blue molds on meat hanging for aging. Presumably this is just hacked off and we are fed what lies beneath.

But what's the real dope on this? Is moldy meat and fish 'safe' when you cut off the green and blue and whatever color?

(Incidentally - I did succeed in getting straight info from Cornell Univ that maple syrup with mold on the surface means one should discard the ENTIRE lot!)

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Old 11-25-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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My mother's rule of thumb was that with solid foods (e.g. cheese, cured meats, some veggies), you could simply cut off the moldy part and use it. I've always followed that advice and have never had a problem.
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:20 PM   #3
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Not bad advice as a general rule - but how solid is 'solid' - ? - therein lies one of the dilemmas.

But still - what about uncooked meat and fish - we know that the aged steaks we eat have been previously COVERED with VERY bad looking stuff - does anyone know anything about this?
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:56 PM   #4
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There are a couple of considerations. One is the density of the food. You can't remove mold from porous food. The root tendrils are deep in the food. So, obviously, bread and such is out. Without being a mold expert, the safe rule may be to discard food that has mold that isn't expected to be there. I mean, consider a cheese that supposed to be "moldy." You know what it's supposed to look like. But if one of those cheeses is growing fur, I figure it's been under pretty poor conditions, and I probably don't want it anyway. Ditto for raw steak. I expect a particular kind of mold on dry cured meat and sausage. Fish would be so repellent that it's not even mentioned in any of the information resources about food mold. I really don't want to mess with any fish that's been around long enough to grow mold. There's an exception to everything. Katsuobushi is Japanese tuna deliberately sprayed with fungus after it's dried and smoked. They just keep shaving off the mold until it gives up and quits growing. The fish ends up like wood and is used by shaving.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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For me aged beef is like the old saying about sausage, everybody likes it but nobody wants to see it being made. I would leave that process to a professional and pay the big bucks.

When I was a everybody in our family aged venison, rabbits and some gamebirds if it was cold outside and nobody became ill. I do not remember enough about it to feel comfortable trying it myself.

Other than that I use my own judgement and more or less follow the rules laid down by Steve's mom.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:25 AM   #6
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I still would wonder about the health consequences (re mold) of aged beef having been originally COVERED with all that gunk. Raw meat is certainly not solid.

As for uncooked fish - I brought that up because a friend was going to give me some 'maustekala' that he made but found it covered with mold some days after preparation and gave it a toss. (Maustekala is a spice-marinated 'raw fish' )

If someone wants to experience ROTTEN raw fish - give a try of this Swedish delicacy - Surströmming -

Surströmming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

!!
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I still would wonder about the health consequences (re mold) of aged beef having been originally COVERED with all that gunk. Raw meat is certainly not solid.

As for uncooked fish - I brought that up because a friend was going to give me some 'maustekala' that he made but found it covered with mold some days after preparation and gave it a toss. (Maustekala is a spice-marinated 'raw fish' )

If someone wants to experience ROTTEN raw fish - give a try of this Swedish delicacy - Surströmming -

Surströmming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

!!
Lol, even the can comes bloated, and my Grand mother adored them mixed with potato, sour cream and onion. Prepared not too unlike a blintz, but every year when she opened them, I, along with a majority of us "young" people, had to leave.

Certain molds/cultures, are an essential component to many foods we love.

A lot of people forget that modern refrigeration is still a new technology for a lot of the world. Also, certain exposure helps keep the immune system in check and our system able to handle things.

No food is "solid", some food may be more dense, but NO food is solid, period. Fresh should be eaten fresh. Unless the intent is to cure/dry age/preserve, than there are steps in place to support the amount of mold and the process it self. Moldy food has been around a LOT longer than food from a fridge. Mold plays an important role in food, always has, and always will. . .good or bad.

Curing and dry ageing, along with cheese making, are all done under a watchful eye, and is a process that is done with a lot of detail and time honored technique. I am not gonna pop open the fridge, grab a green steak and have at it, nor would I a grab a fuzzy grey mold covered baguette and go to town. . .and, dispute ethic heritage/world cuisine, spoiled seafood is just that, spoiled seafood. There is a reason your nose is where it is on your face, and that is to stop spoiled crap from entering your pie hole, lol.

Some meats can e trimmed. Cheese, for the most part, can be trimmed(unless it is ammonia like and a soft cheese), hell, even some breads can be cleaned up a wee bit. Seafood, I do NOT monkey with.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:55 AM   #8
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I live six miles from Mold Flintshire, I visit on market days and have never caught anything.
I bought some green (freshly killed) dexter beef yesterday. It will hang in the cold room for 30+ days, I will only bring it home when the cut edges are blackish and mouldy.
When I made salami ect I dipped them in a liquid that promotes mould.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:00 AM   #9
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I live six miles from Mold Flintshire, I visit on market days and have never caught anything.
I bought some green (freshly killed) dexter beef yesterday. It will hang in the cold room for 30+ days, I will only bring it home when the cut edges are blackish and mouldy.
When I made salami ect I dipped them in a liquid that promotes mould.

That is exactly the type of tradition, and time honored technique I am referring to. Particularly with Salum, the process would just not yield the same result if it were not for the helpful mold/bacteria. Same with proper hung beef. The enzymes all help breakdown thing and make a super steak, superb.

lol, I said proper hung beef.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:16 AM   #10
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Tat I bet you know that one of the finest pudding wines can only be made after the grape has contracted botrytis cinerea the mould is so revered in France the call it Noble Rot.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:20 AM   #11
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OK - please let me be stubborn

Dry meats - salum types etc - that's one bag. (and they even usually have added NO2/NO3 - great for (people) longebity )

But what about the 'processes' for ageing beef - what about that green and blue gunk they strip off - what is known about health consequences. Lye or any other chemical is not going down into the porous meat and modifying molds so they 'safe' - or what? - I've been looking for a few years for details but get none - to be sure I will be calling Finnish 'FDA-type' agency next week.

Geez I heard a thousand 'more doctors smoke Camels' ads as a kid too - and my mother was scooping aflatoxin off the top of strawberry jam - but what about NOW?
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Tat I bet you know that one of the finest pudding wines can only be made after the grape has contracted botrytis cinerea the mould is so revered in France the call it Noble Rot.
Yup, indeed. It is amazing how sweet it can render a wine. Though, I am not much into dessert/pudding wines, I love a late harvest ice wine, but I am not opposed a proper Muscat. I love them in particular with a rich custard(like crem brulee), or a rich cheesecake. Through the sweetness of the wine, there is still enough acid to cut the fat, and is just a wonderful nightcap.

The Mexican delicacy/specialty, huitlacoche(Nothing wine relatied, lol) is something that I can't really get into. If you like Mushrooms, and you like corn, than it is a must try. Yet again, another mold that leads to a culinary oddity/delicacy.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
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OK - please let me be stubborn

Dry meats - salum types etc - that's one bag. (and they even usually have added NO2/NO3 - great for (people) longebity )

But what about the 'processes' for ageing beef - what about that green and blue gunk they strip off - what is known about health consequences. Lye or any other chemical is not going down into the porous meat and modifying molds so they 'safe' - or what? - I've been looking for a few years for details but get none - to be sure I will be calling Finnish 'FDA-type' agency next week.

Geez I heard a thousand 'more doctors smoke Camels' ads as a kid too - and my mother was scooping aflatoxin off the top of strawberry jam - but what about NOW?
Dry aging meats is simply storing meats in a climate controlled, humidity controlled, and even light controlled environment. Adding lye is NOT a component of dry aging beef. Dry aging is just that, DRY aging. The "color" parts mainly lay in the fat caps, chains/rails that are simply trimmed off, and of no real health concern at that point. More often than not, you will find that the BEST quality steaks, not only involve what cut they are, but how they are aged.

Nitrates that are involved in Salum are simply there to keep the color from turning off, and inhibit HARMFUL bacteria. They can be found in everything from American style Hot Dogs, to bologna. Some of the myths have been disproved, similar the the myths of using MSG.

Lye, as for all I know with food, is used in the production of grits/hominy. NOT dry aged beef.

I am sure that the Finnish FDA will be more helpful.

As for now, well, we KNOW smokes to be NOT glorious, and "healthy", at all! As for the aflatoxin, that may have been there due to shotty canning procedures/pasteurization, and like everything else, times have changed. It is worth noting though, mom may have been helping in keeping your immune system up and fighting off things. Just like local honey is good for fighting local allergies, being exposed to local molds and such help you fight off those same, exact molds.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:57 AM   #14
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What Tat said! I would also add that IMO the over sanitisation of our life styles has created weakness in our systems. I buy raw milk cheese, I love the rind.40 yrs ago when I lived in France the cheese plate came out and the grans and gramps, pregnant women, kids all got stuck in. My child at 12 month loved to eat raw milk brie de meaux she would also suck on a chunk of H/M salami.
Once again these phobic feelings engendered by health specialists in the employ of manufacturers of cleaning products has again created a doctors love camels situation.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:10 AM   #15
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I was trying to put dry aging (damn does that have an 'e' or not?) into 2 categories -

'Salum' and 'Fresh' Meat

The NO2/NO3 are put there for exactly the reasons mentioned but it is a more than proven fact that they are carcinogens - and become even more so with high temperatures (eg bacon). Thus there has been a movement among meat processors to not use them - see the Oscar Mayer packages screaming NO Nitrates/Nitrites.

So I will still be interested to know more about what actually is going on with molds that occur on so-called 'Fresh Meat' (including in the hanging process as that is indeed still very porous - and moist - the moisture does allow 'passageways')

Aflatoxin is a baddie no matter how you scoop it - it is probably the worst carcinogen going -

Aflatoxin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

it is unfortunately found in peanuts, corn, etc. - it almost can't help but getting mixed in when you think of the harvesting and storage processes for mass crops.

And surely my mother would have been doing a lot of potential damage feeding me that.

On the other hand I TOTALLY agree with the idea we should be exposed to a LOT of different bacteria and other microbes - the sterilization loony-ism of the last 10-20 years will result in a lot of disease and allergies for the youngsters brought up with clean-obsessive parents.
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:20 AM   #16
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At home I generally go by the rule that if it looks and smells ok then ignore the date on the packet and eat it, when cooking for others I would be more careful and not risk making people sick. I would probably throw away mouldy veg as it often doesn't taste good.
I agree we are too germ free these days.
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