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LifestyleFoodFact check: Black mold on onions does not cause mucormycosis

Fact check: Black mold on onions does not cause mucormycosis

Published: 27th May 2021 9:08 pm

Hyderabad: The rising cases of mucormycosis (black fungus) in India, is now leading to a rise in fake posts and fake news on social media.  Various people and pages on social media are making posts with bizarre theories backed by no scientific evidence.

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In one such posts doing rounds on Facebook, there is fake claim that the formation of fungus in refrigerators and the fungus seen on the outer layers of onions causes mucormycosis.

The post that was originally made in Hindi cautions people to be careful with the black-coloured fungus that forms on onions is the toxic fungus that causes mucormycosis. It further mentions that these onions, if stored in refrigerators can spread and leaving molds on the surfaces inside the refrigerators.

Here is the post that makes the baseless claim:


The widely spread post is completely untrue and neither the black mold found in refrigerators nor the one on onions is a cause for mucormycosis.

Experts say that the fungi that is found in refrigerators is caused by bacteria and yeast. Though it could contaminate the food that is stored in the refrigerators, causing other mild infections, it does not lead to the black fungal infection that is on a rampage in the country at the moment.

The black powder-like fungus that is seen on onions is caused by a common fungus called aspergillus niger which is found in soil

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, on May 24 said that mucormycosis was not a black fungus, and added “Because there is some discolouration of skin as it decreases blood supply, it may give a feeling that the area has become black, that is why the name has come.”

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