Dangerous scarlet mold in fruit bowl?

Asked July 27, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

We have a large plastic, covered fruit bowl that we do not clean nearly enough. The last time I ran it through the dishwasher, which was months ago, I laid down a few napkins to put the fruit on. My mom tends to put whatever bag the fruit comes in on top of that, so over time we end up with layers of plastic and paper bags. Today I removed the bags and the napkins. There were two bright reddish spots on the napkins, which I first assumed were fruit juice stains. However, it occurred to me that any fruit juices would have turned brown by now. Years ago I had a colleague who was an amateur mycologist, who told me that there was a scarlet mold that was deadly to get anywhere near, due to respiratory effects. I don't know the name of the mold or anything else about it. Now I am wondering if I may have exposed myself to this extremely dangerous mold. Is that possible? Are there bright red molds that are not so deadly?

Philadelphia County Pennsylvania food safety

1 Response

Unless this stain were tested we do not know for sure it is a mold. We are not aware of any bright red molds common to household environments.

A great reference on the topic is at the Center for Disease Control and can be found at:

http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm