How Do I Prevent Moldy Bread?

Lainie Petersen

You can prevent moldy bread by keeping your bread stored in a cool, dry place if you plan to eat it within a few days. Otherwise, you should freeze your bread after wrapping it in plastic. Commercial breads typically contain additives that can discourage mold, while homemade breads may be more susceptible to spoilage due to a lack of preservative ingredients. In all cases, moldy bread should be discarded as soon as mold is spotted. Moldy bread can lead to health problems in some people.

Moldy bread.
Moldy bread.

Bread mold is not only unsightly, but it negatively affects the flavor of bread and can be unhealthy to eat. In fact, food experts typically advise throwing out an entire loaf or piece of bread if any mold is spotted on it, as it is possible for the mold to penetrate bread layers, causing contamination. Individuals who are concerned about preventing moldy bread need to be careful about protecting the freshness of the bread that they buy or make. Home bakers should be particularly careful with their homemade loaves, as these breads can go bad quickly.

Loaf of moldy bread.
Loaf of moldy bread.

When purchasing bread in a bakery or grocery store, it's a good idea to find out when the bread was made or to check the expiration date on the package. Fresh bread will last longer and likely taste better. Store your bread in the refrigerator if you plan to have it in your home for more than a few days. If you and your family don't consume a lot of bread, seal the bread up tightly in high-quality plastic wrap and put it in the freezer. Failing to seal the bread in plastic wrap can cause freezer burn, resulting in bread that is tasteless and that will typically have a very strange texture. It should be noted, however, that freezer burn is not itself dangerous to humans; it simply ruins the quality of food.

The fresher the bread, the longer it will last.
The fresher the bread, the longer it will last.

Check to see if the bread contains a preservative such as calcium propionate, as these preservatives can significantly retard the growth of mold. If the bread does not contain mold-retarding additives, either freeze any surplus bread soon after making a purchase or buy only as much bread as you and your family can consume within a few days. Similarly, if you make bread at home, make enough for only your immediate needs or plan to freeze your bread soon after it has cooled completely and has been wrapped in plastic.

Freshly baked bread usually lasts longer than older bread.
Freshly baked bread usually lasts longer than older bread.

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Discussion Comments


I grew up with just cutting away the moldy portion of the bread and eating the rest of the loaf or the slice. I have done this with both store bought and home made bread. I have never gotten sick once, from it, neither has anyone in my family. I urge people to do this to avoid waste. Mold does not make you sick. Where do you think penicillin was developed from?


If I stock up on bread that is on sale, I will store the extra in the freezer and take it out as we need it. If I notice mold on any piece of bread that has been left out too long, I will throw the whole loaf away. I don't want to take any chances on someone getting sick.

My kids will often make a sandwich for themselves, and I keep our bread in a bread box on the counter. This way the slices are always soft and fresh.

I have found that bread tends to get moldy faster when it is hot and humid outside. It's funny how the humidity outside can still affect a loaf of bread inside your house.


I have stored my bread in the freezer before, but prefer to keep mine in the refrigerator. There are a couple things I don't like about keeping it in the freezer.

If you let the bread thaw and and then put it back in the freezer several times, it seems to affect the quality of the bread. It doesn't get moldy or go bad, but it just doesn't taste as good.

I also get frustrated when the slices stick together, and it is hard to get them apart when they are frozen. I have ruined more than one slice of bread when I am trying to do this.

As long as I keep my bread wrapped tightly and stored in the refrigerator, we usually eat it fast enough that we don't have to worry about it getting moldy.


I have always stored my bread in the freezer and this way I never have to worry about bread that is moldy. I know when my kids have friends over some of them have never heard of this before.

I hate to waste food and if we don't go through a loaf of bread very fast, I want to make sure it doesn't go bad on me. If we are using it to make toast, you don't have to wait for the bread to thaw.

If I am making sandwiches and want to bread to be soft, all I do is put it in the microwave for a few seconds.

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