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.
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.
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 cheese||Discard — do not eat||OK to eat after mold is removed|
|Any cheese that is shredded, crumbled or sliced||X|
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