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Foods to avoid with Yeast and Mold Allergies

Hi Chef James,
I am allergic to yeast. Causes me a lot of drainage and breathing problems because of the drainage. I cant find a list of the products containing yeast or molds to that I may learn to avoid. Could you help me with this. 
Thanks so much, Roberta

Hello Roberta,

First, be sure to have a talk with your doctor.

Here are some facts about food and mold/yeast allergy:

• Common food sources of mold and yeast include:
  ·  Cheese
  ·  Mushrooms
  ·  Vinegar and foods containing vinegar, such as salad dressing, catsup and pickles
  ·  Sour cream, sour milk, and buttermilk
  ·  Meat or fish more than 24 hours old
  ·  Breads and other food made with yeast
  ·  Sauerkraut
  ·  Pickled and smoked meats and fish
  ·  Dried fruits such as dates, prunes, figs and raisins
  ·  Soy sauce
  ·  Hot dogs, sausages
  ·  Canned juices

• Do not smell foods to see if they are spoiled because inhaling mold spores can set off an allergic reaction. In addition, you can avoid foods that are more likely to contain mold or other fungi, such as mushrooms and yeast.

• Organic produce tends to get moldier faster than produce treated with commercial fungicides.

• Don't keep a fruit bowl on your dining room table. Try not to buy any fruit that needs ripening.  Keep all fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator.


• Clean and Bleach your refrigerator to kill any mold or yeast.

• Crockpots may release too much moisture - be sure it has a tight fitting lid.

• Keep the atmosphere in your house dry. High humidity promotes mold growth.  Use a dehumidifier.

I hope this helps.
Chef James,

Hi Chef,
Thanks for the information. The cheese, is that hard cheese or all cheeses? I appreciate the help and why vinegar? I don't understand the yeast reference to vinegar? How?

Hi Roberta,

Any cheese can be potential sources of mold on the outside, but hard cheeses that have been aged are more likely to have been exposed to mold during the aging process than softer cheeses or fresh cheeses. However any cheese has the potential for mold growth.

Vinegar is made by the fermenting action of yeasts and various bacteria on wine, apple juice, etc.  These yeasts and bacteria are harmless, unless you are allergic to them.  These are naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria that are normally found in the environment.
Many commercially made vinegars have removed or destroyed most of these yeasts and bacteria in the bottling process.  However, if you are allergic to yeasts, they may still cause you minor problems.

Also, once the vinegar bottles have been opened, the vinegar may pick up these naturally occurring yeasts again from the environment and start to reproduce in the vinegar again.  "Mother of vinegar" is the stringy slimy substance you may see forming on the surface of vinegar.  It is composed of these yeasts and bacteria.  It can be used it to make your own vinegar. - (You shouldn't do that though, due to your allergy!).

I would suggest that you use major name brand vinegars*, and cover the bottle immediately after opening, and also refrigerate it after opening to minimize the problem.

*Many of the gourmet vinegars purposely leave some of the "mother of vinegar" in their product for quality and flavor reasons.
          Chef James,

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