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Coffee Mold Allergy - One of the Many Mold Allergies

written by: Rafael • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 9/23/2010

Molds are everywhere and coffee is no exception. If you are sensitive to molds perhaps you have to consider coffee mold allergy and how to avoid it.

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    Molds can grow in a great variety of substrates. They can grow in pillows, closets, walls, tables, rocks, decaying organic matter, soil, seeds, flowers, vegetables, and other foods. Coffee is often overlooked as a source of molds that may cause allergies. Coffee is a rich source of nutrients for molds to grow, so if you have experienced allergies and especially food allergies then you should be careful about coffee mold allergies.

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    Coffee Mold Allergy Signs and Symptoms

    The signs and symptoms of coffee mold allergy are very similar to the symptoms of other allergies. People sensitive to mold can experience:

    • coughing
    • wheezingA cup of coffee can be a source of coffee mold allergy 
    • runny nose
    • irritated eyes
    • irritated throat
    • scaling skin

    The intensity of the above will depend on the particular sensitivity of the person to a particular mold. If a person gets any of these symptoms after a cup of coffee, then you can suspect that either a component of the coffee bean or a mold growing on the coffee bean is responsible for the allergy.

    In certain cases molds growing on coffee can trigger more severe reactions such as an asthma attack with heavy wheezing and serious difficulty in breathing. In such cases it is advisable to see a doctor who specializes in allergies.

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    How to Avoid Coffee Mold and its Allergic Reactions

    As mentioned before, molds and mold spores (the reproductive bodies of molds) are everywhere. Sometimes they are quite ubiquitous, they can be seen (for example in food surfaces), and thus, avoid its ingestion. However many times they can not be seen and their detection is difficult.

    A person sensitive to molds should avoid using food that is old. Food kept in the refrigerator for long periods of time may get a heavy load of molds and mold spores. This is particular true in coffee beans. Due to the dry nature of the coffee bean and its ground products, we tend to believe that coffee will be in good standing for long periods of time.

    An old pot containing coffee beans is an excellent substrate for coffee mold to reproduce. Then, when coffee is made from this contaminated product, mold spores can be ingested and can produce allergic reactions. So as a precautionary measure make your coffee from fresh coffee beans or coffee products. Avoid leaving a coffee pot for long periods of time and drinking from it.

    Another good way to prevent coffee mold allergies is to wash coffee beans under cold running water. Mold spores are usually deposited on the surface of the coffee beans, so by washing those beans you will be removing ungerminated molds spores. However, if mold has already grown you will not be able to remove it completely.

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    What to do in Case you get an Allergic Reaction To Coffee Mold

    To treat any allergic reaction you have there are some over the counter antihistamines available or your doctor can prescribe some anti-allergic medicine. Drowsiness can be a serious issue with antihistamines so beware. Nasal sprays could also be prescribed for reactions to coffee molds. If severe reactions occur, such as swelling of the airway and difficulty breathing, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

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    References:

    100 Questions & Answers about. By Jonathan Corren . 2010. Jones & Bartlett Learning.ISBN 9780763776091

    Mold and Allergies: 10 Ways to Reduce Symptoms http://www.webmd.com/health-ehome-9/mold-allergies-symptoms

    Image credit: www.sxc.hu


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