Updated at: 07-05-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

Do you have any questions regarding why cheese molds? Alternatively, may mould be eaten with cheese?

Do you even have a basic understanding of how to keep cheese fresh and free of mold? Then keep reading, because we’ll be able to help you out.

If you’ve ever bought a lovely piece of cheese and put it in the fridge, you’ll know what I mean. As time went on, you began to forget about the cheese.

It was already releasing a bad odor when you opened the fridge to examine and analyze your supplies. That’s the mold-infested cheese you’ve left out in the open!

What Are The Reasons For Cheese Molding?

Mold is a fungus made up of microscopic creatures, according to WebMD. Moisture-loving, airborne spores are the primary means of reproduction for this organism.

Is Moldy Cheese Okay to Eat? | Bon Appétit

Mold is a common indication of deterioration in most foods. Different kinds of milk are used to make different kinds of cheeses, which causes them to mold.

Mold loves cheese because it provides a plethora of nutrients for its growth. Molds are more likely to grow in cheeses that have been exposed to both air and water.

Molds, on the other hand, are necessary for the manufacturing of some cheeses. Some individuals enjoy the distinct flavors and sensations they provide, and it’s easy to see why.

Mold-ripened cheeses include:

  • Brie
  • Roquefort is a town in France.
  • Cheddar
  • Swiss

If you’d want to learn more about how cheese is manufactured, check out this page.

Are cheeses with mold safe to eat?

Cheeses that have mold on them do not need to be thrown out immediately. Soft and hard cheese molds are treated differently.

To save a moldy portion of hard cheese, cut away at least an inch from the surface and discard the rest.

Mould on soft cheeses, including shredded or sliced cheeses like cottage, cream, and ricotta, should not be eaten. In this environment, contamination spreads more quickly, and some people are even exposed to harmful bacteria like E. Coli and salmonella, which can be deadly.

How to know if your cheese has gone bad

Here are a few methods to tell if a cheese is already bad:

  • Despite the fact that cheese that has beyond its expiration date can still be eaten, it is not recommended.
  • Mold grows more readily in cheese because of its appearance. Most start with a white patch of mold, but for blue cheeses, it’s when the blue veins turn gray.
  • Fragrance — Since cheese is formed from curdling milk, it already has a pungent smell.
  • You can tell whether the cheese has gone bad by looking at its surface quality, which might include things like softening or separating complete wheels, releasing oil, or becoming runny and stiff. This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of surface quality symptoms to look for.

Also, keep in mind that hard and soft cheeses may have various properties when they are fresh.. Make sure you’re aware of this, and you won’t be deceived by the texture of a previously soft cheese.

Proper Handling Of Cheeses

Despite the fact that some cheese molds can be eaten, not everyone is capable of doing so. Here are some tips to help you keep your cheese fresh and mold-free:

  1. Look for a smooth texture when selecting cheeses with visible packaging. There are no splits, hardened or yellow spots, or mold growths on these.
  2. Once the cheese is unwrapped, eat it right away.
  3. Learn how long different kinds of cheese will last in the fridge.

2-4 months for hard cheeses, 3-6 weeks for opened ones, 1-2 months for semi-hard cheeses, and 3-6 weeks for opened ones.

  1. Make sure to label your cheeses with the type and date of purchase so that you can easily track how long you may keep them fresh.
  2. To keep cheese fresh, place it in the refrigerator at 40°F or lower after each use.
  3. To keep the temperature steady, place it in a vegetable drawer or on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. A great article on how to keep mold out of your refrigerator can be found here.
  4. Keep it in a tightly closed container or cover it with plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent moisture from getting in.
  5. Trim moldy areas off hard cheeses to prevent them from spreading.

You may also want to read up on personal protection equipment, which might be helpful if you’re dealing with a lot of mold or are extremely sensitive to molds.

How Does Mold Grow on Cheese?

What is Mold?

Many foods, including cheese, can develop mold, which is a fungus that can grow on a variety of substrates. More than 100,000 mold species exist in the world, and they are found in the environment, food, and even animals. Some molds are deemed safe, while others can be lethal or cause serious health issues for humans and animals.

Curd, the byproduct of the separation and processing of milk, is the raw material used to make cheese. Cheese’s flavor and texture are created by a variety of processing and aging methods applied to the curd. Many cheeses include molds that are good for our health, as well. Examples include blue and Roquefort cheeses.

Is Moldy Cheese Bad for You?

How does Mold Grow on Cheese?

When cheese is kept in a damp or poorly ventilated space, mold forms. It is impossible to see mold spores in the air, but we breathe them in every day. There are some cheeses that can be infected by one or two spores that make their way onto them.

A cheese’s mold content varies on the sort of cheese it is, as well. Cheese can be made soft, semi-soft, semi-hard, or hard, and the softer it is, the more likely it is to mold. Most soft cheeses are more fluid and fresher than hard cheeses, making them more susceptible to mold formation.

Types of Molds

Some fungus can develop on cheese and obtain all of the nourishment they require. Penicillium mold types produce blue-green spores, giving the mold its distinctive hue. Penicillium spp. are generally safe to consume, and they are often employed to give Blue Cheeses their color and flavor.

When it comes to moldy hard cheeses, many mould can simply be cut off and eaten. Most soft cheeses, on the other hand, must be thrown away if they get infested with mold.

Why Does Cheese Go Moldy in the Fridge?

Cheese is a favorite food of many people. Having a lot of cheese in your fridge is understandable to me because I’m a huge fan of the stuff myself. However, you may notice that the cheese begins to mold after a while. Many people are surprised to learn this, because cheese is believed to be aged for years. Is there a reason why cheese molds in the refrigerator?

Various fungi-transmitted spores can be transferred to the cheese from your hands. Mold thrives in the moisture that collects on top of cheese in the refrigerator. And that’s why your cheese starts to go bad after a while.

Cheddar and other aged cheeses are known to improve with time. It is important to note that not all molds are harmful. Some cheeses necessitate the use of a specific mold. However, this does not imply that you should consume molds. Because of this, it is crucial to know why molds form and which kinds are safe to eat.

How Mold Growth Occurs on Cheese

Mold is a type of fungus that produces spores, which can be spread through the air. The spores spread and contaminate food, causing it to spoil. Your food’s surface may seem green, ashy or blue, and with a fuzzy texture, due to the presence of mold. They’re simple to spot, and they’re generally accompanied by a sour taste and a nasty odor.

When circumstances are warm and moist, mold thrives. Almost all cheese has mold on it since it is aged in brines or kept in storage for an extended period of time before being sold. Cheese is produced in big batches during the manufacturing process. Mold only grows on the outside of cheese, so it doesn’t get all the way through to the center.

It’s safe to assume that the mold hasn’t developed any deep roots because these are large quantities. The mold grows on the cheese’s rind, which is normally taken off before the cheese is packaged and sold for consumption. Mold can grow on cheese if it is not protected in wax. When it comes to manufacturing cheese, mold isn’t an issue.

Molds are also needed for some types of cheese. This is not the mold we could find in our houses or refrigerators, though. In most cases, we buy cheese in vacuumed packages that are sealed airtight and free of external bacteria. It is, however, likely that the spores from your hands will go to the cheese and grow there once you cut it open.

Homemade cheese is kept in far lower quantities than commercial cheese is. So, if you chop off the moldy portion of the cheese, you may not be able to salvage any of it. However, in factories, even if the edges are removed, a substantial amount of delicious cheese remains in the center.

Because it’s usually wrapped in polythene while it’s kept in the fridge, the cheese develops a wet environment. This provides the ideal conditions for the growth and spread of mold. It’s because of this that cheese deteriorates when it’s kept in the refrigerator.

Can You Eat Moldy Cheese?

As a general rule, the presence of mold on foods indicates that the food has gone bad and should be thrown away. But when it comes to cheese, this is not always the case. The presence of germs or mold in cheese is not always an indication that the cheese is poor.

Cheese that has mold on it or in it is not necessarily unsafe to eat. Penicillium roqueforti and Penicillium glaucum are injected into cheese during production. Blue Cheese and Brie are two examples of cheeses that use them to enhance their flavor, texture, and appearance.

Moldy cheese of this type is perfectly fine to consume. Appearance is the most significant distinction. You may notice blue veins like in Blue Cheese or a very hard white rind on the edge of the mold. This mold is unlike any kind you’ll encounter on food.

When you buy cheese, try to recall its scent. Once the food has been stored in the refrigerator, you can keep an eye out for any off-putting odors. If the cheese is already moldy, this can be an excellent indicator of when it has gone bad.

Cheese that has been mold-grown can still be salvaged as long as it’s a firm cheese like Parmesan. It’s highly unlikely that the mold has reached the core of the building’s construction. To be on the safe side, you can cut the sides up to about an inch or so below where the mold is.

When Should You Not Eat Moldy Cheese?

Molds aren’t all created equal, so keep that in mind. Consider yourself cautioned if you spot something fuzzy and green on the surface of your cheese.

It’s best to toss out soft cheeses like cream cheese, ricotta, and cottage cheese if you notice mold growth.

Mold on hard cheeses can be simply shaved off, but on soft cheeses, the mold can penetrate deeply and ruin the entire cheese.

As a side note, if you notice mold in your cheese because it has been cut or shredded, it is too late to save it.

What happens If You Eat Moldy Cheese?

You may not know what kind of cheese you have at home, but you notice that it has mold on it. For whatever reason—hard cheese or rotting cheese—you still chose to consume it. Isn’t it a waste to toss it all away?

To be honest, this would be an extremely hazardous move. If you’re unsure whether or not your moldy cheese is safe to eat, it’s best to just throw it out. Even though the cheese was pricey, your health is more important than anything else.

E. coli, Salmonella, and Brucella are all bacteria that can cause food poisoning from molds. Mycotoxins are poisons produced by mold, specifically certain forms of mold. It is possible for mycotoxins to induce food poisoning, immunological weakness, and even cancer. It’s possible to die from food poisoning, even if it’s mild.

It’s recommended not to consume any moldy cheese, not even Blue Cheese or Brie, if you’re already immune-suppressed, have an underlying ailment, or are pregnant. It’s best to be safe than sorry when it comes to these.

Always be on the lookout for things like mold in your food, and never take it for granted. Store your food properly and in hygienic ways to avoid mold from growing. Especially when it comes to cheese, try not to store it in plastic bags and use cheesecloth instead. It is also best to just eat your cheese instead of storing it too long in the fridge.

Which cheeses are made with mold?

Always be on the lookout for things like mold when it comes to food safety. To prevent mold from forming in your food, store it in sanitary conditions. Especially when it comes to cheese, avoid storing it in plastic bags and instead use cheesecloth. Eat your cheese rather than store it for an extended period of time in the refrigerator.

The type of milk, bacteria present, age time, and processing methods all play a role on the flavor, texture, and appearance of the cheese. In fact, several types of cheese necessitate the presence of mold throughout the process of making them.

P. roqueforti, P. glaucum and P. candidum are the most commonly used cheese molds. Because they feed on the milk proteins and sugars, molds contribute to the creation of new flavors and textures.

Mold, for example, is responsible for the distinctive bluish veins found in blue cheese. In addition, it’s what gives Brie its characteristically thick rind and smooth, creamy center

Cheeses made from mold include:

  • Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Stilton, and other blue cheeses are among the most popular.
  • Bleu de France, St. André, Camembert, Humboldt Fog and Brie are examples of soft-ripened cheeses.

For blue cheeses, mold is injected directly into the curds rather of being mixed with milk during processing, as is the case with soft-ripened varieties.

Molds are essential to the maturation and flavor development of specific cheeses. In addition to Brie, these include Gorgonzola and other hard cheeses.

Is moldy cheese safe to eat?

Not all mold on cheese indicates that it has gone bad.

Some variants are made using molds that are distinct from those that sprout on your stale cheese and loaf of bread.

Does a little mold spoil the whole block of cheese?

You can safely eat the ones used in cheese production. In contrast to ordinary mold, which is a fuzzy growth that ranges in color from white to green, these cheeses have blue veins within and a white rind on the exterior.

Mold can be detected by its odor, as well as its appearance. It’s best to smell the cheese after purchase to establish a baseline, however, because some cheeses are naturally foul. This way, you’ll be able to keep track of its quality over time.

Keep in mind that mold-grown cheeses can also contain hazardous spores. They resemble other food-borne organisms in appearance.

When to throw out moldy cheese

There is no need to toss out cheese that has mold on it.

Hard cheeses like Parmesan, Colby, Swiss, and Cheddar rarely allow spores to spread much beyond the surface. To put it another way, this indicates that the rest of the product is probably safe to ingest. At least 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) around and below the mold should be trimmed.

In contrast, this method does not work with soft cheeses, such as shredded, crumbled, or sliced forms of cheese.

Mold can readily contaminate the entire product if it appears on any of these cheeses, which include cream cheese, cottage cheese, and ricotta.

While mold is necessary for the production of blue and soft-ripened cheeses, it is a symptom of deterioration in other types. If spores appear on soft cheese, discard it; if spores appear on hard cheese, cut around the mold to rescue it.

Dangers of eating moldy cheese

Food poisoning can be caused by E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella, and Brucella, all of which can be carried by molds.

Vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea are all signs of food poisoning. It can be fatal in the most extreme circumstances.

Mycotoxins, which can cause everything from acute food poisoning to immune system deficiencies and even cancer, are another dangerous byproduct of dangerous molds. It has been proven that aflatoxin, a cancer-causing agent, increases your risk of developing liver cancer (1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12Trusted Sources).

You can reduce your risk of mycotoxin exposure by avoiding moldy food and storing your food in a safe manner.

Mycotoxins and bacteria found in mold can cause food poisoning, immunological weakness, and even cancer, according to the CDC.

How to properly store cheese

Cheese spoilage can be minimized with the use of correct storage methods.

Check for cracks and mold growth on normal cheese before purchasing. There should be no stiffened or yellowed patches in the texture.

Look for any fuzzy, off-color specks on mold-grown cheeses when shopping. If you see any strange colors or textures, start with the blue-veined areas.

It’s best to keep your cheese in the refrigerator at 34–38°F (1–3°C). Mold spores can be prevented by carefully wrapping your cheese in plastic wrap.

SUMMARYProper cheese storage can help keep mold at bay. Put it in the fridge at 34–38°F (1–3°C) and cover it with plastic wrap.


To put it simply, why does cheese go bad and become moldy? Because of a variety of causes.

Some are cultivated with mold on purpose, while others have been overexposed to moldy environments.

Moldy cheeses, such as hard cheeses, can be eaten if the mold has been trimmed away. Molded cheese, on the other hand, should be handled with caution because your health is at stake.