Poker night is pizza night, and this time it was prosciutto. However, when I got prosciutto for pizza, there was white mold on it. I wonder if my prosciutto is bad. What causes this mold? Is it safe to eat white mold on prosciutto?
The answer is yes. Eating prosciutto with molds on it is safe if you cut them out before serving. The white mold on prosciutto is Penicillium, a naturally present fungus that delays drying and enhances the taste. They are generally non-toxic and help prevent other bacterial attacks on prosciutto.
In fact, it is pervasive for prosciutto to develop some form of white mold on it due to its preparation and preservation.
You should stick around if you want the complete guide on eating prosciutto with white mold.
What Are the White Mold On Prosciutto?
Have you ever noticed the small white frickles on your prosciutto? If you have, you must ask, “what are the white spots on my prosciutto?”
As mentioned before, it is natural for white molds to grow on prosciutto as it is part of the curing process.
White mold is a microscopic fungus that often develops into a threadlike shape. It’s one of the fungi you may naturally find in air and water and in places where food is grown or kept. The human eye may detect white mold as small specks or colonies of fuzzy matter.
Fungi thrive in shady and low-temperature places. The aging process of prosciutto gives fungi the perfect environment to grow. So, during the process, white molds feed on prosciutto.
But do not worry about your prosciutto, as this fungus is very harmless. On the other hand, this fungus keeps other dangerous fungi away from your precious prosciutto.
Can You Eat Mold on Cured Meat?
Moldy cured meat sounds like a dangerous thing to explore. But to surprise you, some cured meat molds are part of the deal. It is like a part of the natural manufacturing process.
What these molds do is create a protective layer for the meat itself. So, in general, molds in cured meat should not scare you. But before eating cured meat with mold, you should definitely cut or wash the moldy parts off.
So, can you eat prosciutto with mold?
Yes, it’s totally okay to consume the white mold. It usually rests on a piece of cured meat’s casing, which is simple to remove. Some individuals also have no issues with eating the casing, which is often palatable.
But if the mold is in different colors, you should be careful. Other varieties of different colors, such as green, blue, or black, might be toxic.
Can you cut mold off prosciutto? Especially which has a different color other than white?
Well, you can cut off the white mold and serve prosciutto without worry.
However, the green or bluish molds are contaminated and often harmful to you. Therefore, just cutting or washing the moldy part will not do in that case. You should be aware and throw away such cured meat if you identify it as having toxic mold.
How to Remove White Mold from Prosciutto?
What can you do if you find white mold on prosciutto? Will you throw it or give it a chance? Do not panic; it is very natural for white mold to grow on prosciutto. However, applying some tricks may turn your food all safely edible again.
- Use a sharp knife to remove any dried-out and moldy parts.
- The ham should be soaked in either white wine vinegar or lemon juice for at least an hour before being well rinsed.
- To keep your prosciutto in the best possible condition, keep it dry and clean. The easiest technique to prevent the prosciutto from absorbing unfavorable smells is to soak it in white wine vinegar.
- To remove rotting meat, using sharp kitchen shears is vital. To get the best results, trim the prosciutto according to the instructions on the container.
- By doing this, the quantity of possibly tainted meat will not be removed during the slicing procedure.
The Difference Between Good Mold and Bad Mold
The best way to safely eat prosciutto with mold is to identify the type of mold. Yes, some molds might be necessary for your cured meat, but others might force you to visit the nearest hospital.
So, here come the basic differences between good and harmful mold for safe eating.
|Good Mold||Bad Mold|
|Looks White and fuzzy.||Green, blue, or black in color.|
|It will not stain your hand.||It will stain your hand.|
|It can be easily removed from the meat and consumed.||It needs to be thrown away.|
1. Good Mold
On cured meat, good mold should appear white and fuzzy. The meat’s white, fluffy covering prevents it from drying out too quickly. Over time, it slows down drying and promotes the growth of various mouthwatering fragrances.
The penicillium emits a faint ammonia odor. Handling the cured meat barely leaves stains on your hands, and the meal is simple to clean up or wash off. Contrast this common mold with a different white mold that is hairy or fuzzy and is terrible for any sort of food.
2. Harmful Molds
You should be aware of the two types of lousy mold that might harm you.
3. Green Mold
Blue mold might occasionally resemble green mold, but the same kind of mold both produces them. The white mold has a powdery appearance, but the green mold is fuzzy and leaves little crumbles on other surfaces.
Wearing gloves will prevent your hands from being stained when you handle cured meat that has acquired this harmful mold.
4. Black Mold
The presence of black mold on cured meat is a surefire indication that you must remove it immediately. This particular mold, which is toxic, develops when dried meat is kept in a confined area with high humidity and no air ventilation.
You need to relocate the cured meat into a sterile environment right away if it starts to grow green or black mold in your storage area. You should not try to consume it because doing so poses major health dangers and other breathing issues.
How to Know If Your Prosciutto Has Gone Bad?
If you are worried about your prosciutto going bad, you have to look for some pointers for clarity.
- Color: Your prosciutto should be red, pinkish, or brownish in tone. It should have white stripes of fat running all through it. If your prosciutto takes on a greenish tint, it is time for you to consider it spoiled.
- Smell: Your fresh prosciutto should have a salty and sweet smell. There might be hints of herbs as well. But if it smells a bit sour or bitter, it is an indication that you should throw it out.
- Dryness: If your sliced prosciutto is very dry, you should not eat it.
A quick warning is that you should never taste meat to check if it has gone rotten. Even a small bit of rotten meat could seriously threaten your health.
How to Store Prosciutto- The Right Way
Prosciutto should be kept in the refrigerator at a maximum temperature of 44°F for the longest period at home. You should store it far from the sun and foods like cheese to retain its original flavor.
It is up to the person storing the prosciutto to ensure that the packaging date is accurately marked and that they know how to determine whether the meat has started to spoil. Prosciutto may spoil when it is 5 days old or 130 days old, depending on how it has been stored and packaged.
You should only purchase as much prosciutto as you want to use or consume in one sitting to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.
To store prosciutto correctly, wrap it firmly in plastic wrap and keep it chilled. But it shouldn’t be a problem given how tasty prosciutto can be.
How Long Can You Store Prosciutto?
Depending on the package, it varies how long you can store prosciutto.
1. Fresh Sliced Prosciutto
Only 5-7 days in the refrigerator can keep fresh prosciutto slices from the grocery store from going bad. Because the prosciutto is cut into flat slices, there is a lot of surface area for germs to grow, making sliced prosciutto particularly perishable.
2. Whole Prosciutto
If you don’t break the seal on the whole prosciutto, you can store it in the refrigerator for 12 months. But if you break the seal, you can only store it for 40 days in the refrigerator.
3. Frozen Prosciutto
It is always discouraged to freeze the meat as it has bad effects on the taste. A prosciutto slice can be frozen and kept there for up to three months without going bad.
- Can prosciutto make you sick?
Anything that isn’t handled or cooked properly might cause you to develop food poisoning. But it is very safe if only there is strict quality control and traceability, and it is salted-cured and matured for at least a year.
- How long is prosciutto aged?
After being salted, the hog legs are hand-seasoned, rinsed, and allowed to dry-age for 14 to 36 months at a regulated temperature. The three elements of time, air, and salt combine to give prosciutto its sweet, delicate flavor.
- Is prosciutto safe to eat raw?
Prosciutto technically does not meet the requirements we expect from “raw” beef since the curing procedure removes all moisture from the flesh. It explains why eating it in a form that looks to be “raw” is safe.
Proscuitto is a delicacy when cured meats are concerned. However, often you may see white mold on prosciutto that may fear you.
But, this white mold you see on prosciutto is safe to eat. It’s the naturally produced Penicilline that occurs in the curing process. Just cut the white mold out before serving or eating them.
However, if you see any black or green molds, that may indicate contaminated prosciutto that you should stay far away from.