It’s not uncommon for people to accidentally ingest stale food that may be sprouting green or invisible bacterial spores. The symptoms of mold ingestion can be glaringly obvious but, in the long run, remain relatively harmless if they’re not persistent.
The most common symptom of mold ingestion is digestive problems, such as severe abdominal cramps, persistent diarrhea, dehydration, nausea, or an overall upset stomach.
Most symptoms will surface within 12 to 24 hours of ingesting moldy food.
Acids found in the stomach generally have the ability to counter any type of major attack caused by mold ingestion. However, those experiencing persistent symptoms--particularly children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with a compromised immune system--should seek immediate medical attention.
While most cases of mold ingestion remain relatively harmless, the seriousness of the situation can escalate if the mold enters the bloodstream. In this instance, symptoms may include upper respiratory problems, fever, and general malaise.
Just because a food does not show visible signs of mold does not mean it is safe to eat. Always empty your refrigerator of food that is old or producing a foul smell.