What kind of packaging protects foods from mold?

By Susan Brewer, Ph.D., University of Illinois,

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition


Keep food covered to prevent contamination by mold spores in the air. If there is no oxygen present, mold won’t grow. Use plastic wrap to cover foods you want to stay moist (fresh fruits and vegetables, salad greens). An opened can of food should be re-packaged in a container with a tight-fitting lid.  Molds require temperatures between 50-104º F, moisture above 13%, and a pH of 4-8. Keep susceptible foods (pH 4-8) refrigerated below 50 º F.
If possible, package foods in air-tight packaging such as a home vacuum packager, which can be purchased in many department stores.   (A vacuum packager  sucks out the air so the plastic sucks down around the food then heat-seals the plastic bag.  There are a lot of different brands. One is called the “Food Saver.”®
Mortimer, S. and Wallace, C. 1998.  HACCP: A Practical Approach.  Ch. 7. “An Introduction to Hazards and Their Control.”  Aspen Publishers, Gaithersburg, MD. Pp. 78-80.


Susan Brewer, Ph.D., R.D.University of Illinois, Department of Food Safety and Human Nutrition



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