Food Safety Tips during Spring Times


  Warm and humid weather during Spring times favours the growth of bacteria, virus and mould, which may lead to food spoilage. Mouldy bread for example, is the result of mould contamination. Under suitable temperature and humidity, mould spores on the surface of food will generate hyphae and form a mycelium (a network of root-like structure) which penetrates the food and cause food spoilage. Moulds have grown substantially on food by the time they are discernible to the naked eye. In order to avoid consumption of mouldy foods, the public should be aware of hygienic conditions of food.


Characteristic of moulds:

  1. Moulds, are fungi naturally found in air, soil, water, plants and foods. They are either saprophytic or parasitic.
  2. Moulds can grow and multiply in almost any conditions, especially under suitable nutrients, temperature and humidity.
  3. Moulds can cause food spoilage which makes it unsuitable for consumption.

Health effects:

Generally speaking, moulds have little adverse health effects on healthy individuals. However, they could pose threats to high risk populations such as children, elderly, pregnant or immuno-compromised individuals. Consumption of mouldy foods may cause acute gastrointestinal discomfort such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, etc. Severe cases may lead to necrotic gastroenteritis.


Safety Tips to the Public

1. Purchase smartly

  • Purchase from reliable and reputable shops. Be aware of the expiry date.
  • Observe whether foods are stored in dry and cool conditions.
  • Do not purchase food if its package is unclean, opened or damaged.

2. Store properly

  • Store foods in dry and cool environment and keep them away from direct sunlight.
  • Properly store pre-packaged foods according to instructions on the package.
  • Store opened foods in a sealed container.
  • Use refrigerator to store foods to prevent food spoilage.

3. Discard when abnormality is found

  • Immediately discard the food if abnormalities such as damaged packages, abnormal taste, mouldy or damp appearance are found. Do not just remove the abnormal part.