It was in January of last year that my phone started going off with reports of local grocery stores with mold problems. One of our leading grocery store chains here in the Kansas City metro found themselves dealing with a big mold problem. Out of curiosity, I jumped into my truck and headed over to check it out. When I arrived, I found a very large section of drywall covered in mold. It was immediately apparent that the mold had been growing behind the freezers for some time. For a brief moment, the topic gained media attention and the attention of the Jackson County Health Department. I tuned into our local newscast to see what was being said. The news coverage included an interview with the on-site health inspector that advised to remedy mold problems with bleach. This was both expected but outdated information being repeated by the health department. The EPA does not recommend you use bleach for killing and removing mold. Chlorine bleach is NOT registered with the EPA as a disinfectant to kill mold. Only EPA-registered mold and mildew disinfectants labeled as a fungicide and mildew will do the job. This position is further supported by NORMI, an independent organization that has been key to helping form mold removal requirements for states like Florida and Texas. The EPA estimates that businesses lose over $61 billion a year because of Sick Building Syndrome due to unresolved mold problems.
Our previous articles about Sick Building Syndrome and School Mold Problems we have outlined the growing problem with mold-related illnesses and the increase of mold problems in commercial buildings. More and more media outlets are beginning to discuss these mold problems. Even Dateline NBC featured a full-length investigation into local grocery stores with mold problems and health code violations throughout the United States that revealed disturbing results of the toxic environments that are present at our local supermarket. With one of the leading concerns by investigators being mold. During the interview, the investigator stated, “But it is not just filth and grime and pests inspectors worry about. Bacteria can grow just as easily in a refrigerated unit if it’s not kept at the right temperature.” The investigator continued, “But Dateline thermometers found food being kept either not cold enough or not hot enough at 4 out of the 18 stores we visited. Food like fresh fish on sale in Texas was at least five degrees too warm. We saw some fried chicken in Georgia was not being kept hot enough to keep bacteria from growing. It needed to be 30 degrees warmer.” To see the full article by Dateline that includes the results of national grocery stores with mold and health code violations just click here!
During the upcoming holiday season, as you plan to spend those precious moments and meals with your friends and family. We encourage you to take the extra precautions to ensure that your food is coming from a clean and toxic-free environment. There are two primary mold spores that grow on food, cladosporium and the most common penicillium. To learn more about these molds and side-effects click here.