It’s always a shame when we discover our food has gone to waste because of mold. While mold is usually a sign that it’s time to discard something, it’s not as clear exactly what to do when it comes to cheese. Here is a guide which will help you differentiate which cheese is ‘good’ and which is ‘bad’ when mold takes place.
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Now there are very clear types of cheeses that must be discarded when mold occurs- soft cheese like cream cheese, cottage cheese, and ricotta cheese. Also, cheese that is shredded, sliced or crumbled should be discarded when mold appears. With these kinds of cheeses, the mold can send threads all throughout the cheese. Harmful bacteria such as salmonella, e.coli, listeria, and brucella can also grow throughout the cheese. So stay clear of any consumption if these cheeses have mold.
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There is still hope for cheese with mold, though. Mold usually can’t penetrate far into hard and semisoft cheeses, like cheddar, parmesan, swiss and Colby. So it is easy to just cut the mold away from the cheese and eat the rest. It is safe practice to cut at least an inch around and below the mold to be safe, and do not contaminate the rest of the cheese by touching it with the knife.
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It is true that not all molds pose a risk. Some types of mold are actually used to make cheeses, such as Camembert and Brie. These are safe molds to eat.
Whether or not you should eat the mold generally relies upon what type of cheese it is. It’s usually quite easy to differentiate between, but if you find yourself unsure, it is best to discard the cheese, just to be safe.