Spring is just around the corner, which means that berry season is about to start. Berries can be a great source of potassium and vitamins C and K, and they can also help your gut stay healthy.
Berries are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, but if you don't store them properly, they can get mushy and grow mold. But a little bit of mold doesn't always mean the whole batch is ruined.
In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, an expert on infectious diseases in kids, answers the question, "Does one bad berry ruin the whole bunch?"
"Mold is very common in our environment. And they usually do well in places with a lot of water and organic matter "says Dr. Rajapakse.
Berries in particular can get a white coating that kind of looks like cotton or fuzz. A few moldy berries don't mean you have to throw away the whole batch.
Dr. Rajapakse says to get rid of any that look moldy and any that may have come into direct contact.
"If more than a quarter of the berries are moldy, you should probably just throw them all away.
But if the rest look healthy, aren't bruised or soft, and don't have any mold on them that you can see, they're probably fine to eat after a good wash "she says.
If you don't notice the mold until after you've started eating, Dr. Rajapakse says there's no need to worry.
If you eat a small amount of mold, it probably won't make you sick. If you eat a lot, you might get a stomachache, feel sick, or vomit, but that's not very common.
Rinse your berries with vinegar and water, and then store them on a dry paper towel in an open container in your fridge. This will keep them fresher and mold-free for longer.