Moldy Cheese: Toss it or Save it?

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Ever dug into the back of your fridge for something, in particular, only to discover a small fuzzy block somewhat resembling a pet you may have had as a child is lurking behind forgotten bowls of leftovers? Here are few guidelines for determining whether to chuck moldy cheese or munch it, safely.

Moldy Cheese – Soft vs Hard Cheese

Any type of soft cheese that sprouts mold should be immediately discarded. Soft cheeses include cream cheese, cottage cheese, and ricotta cheese. In addition to mold, dangerous bacteria such as brucella, E.coli, listeria, and salmonella can grow.

Also, in soft cheese, the mold grows root threads that can spread throughout the cheese. It is also Not Safe to consume any types of cheese that have been crumbled, shredded or sliced.

moldy-cheese-toss-it-or-save-it

Generally speaking in harder cheeses such as Cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack, the mold isn’t able to penetrate deeply within the cheese. Cut a full inch away (above and below any moldy surface of the cheese).

Be sure you aren’t cross-contaminating the cheese by slicing through the mold with your knife.

moldy-cheese-toss-it-or-save-it

Healthy Mold

Some types of mold are actually used to make various types of cheese (such as Brie), but if you’re unsure of the type of cheese you have or the safety, please just throw it away.

While we always advocate saving money, taking chances with your health is NOT worth the risk.

Type of cheeseDiscard — do not eatOK to eat after mold is removed
Any cheese that is shredded, crumbled or slicedX
AsiagoX
Blue cheeseX
BrieX
CamembertX
CheddarX
ColbyX
Cottage cheeseX
Cream cheeseX
GorgonzolaX
GruyereX
NeufchatelX
ParmesanX
RicottaX
RomanoX
StiltonX
SwissX

Heat and Mold

You may find yourself tempted to heat the moldy cheese in order to kill the mold and salvage the cheese you’ve purchased. While most molds cannot survive at temperatures above 140 degrees Farenheit, the toxins that are produced by the molds CAN survive at those temperatures, which means that while the mold itself will be dead, the toxins created by them will be very much alive and potent and can render you severely ill should you decide to consume them

© Can Stock Photo / horatio

About Liss 4018 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.

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