Can you get sick from eating bad cheese?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you get sick from eating bad cheese?”, what to do with bad-smelling cheese, why does chase spoil, does cheese contain mold, can you eat moldy cheese, what to do with the moldy cheese, what happens if you eat moldy cheese, and how to store cheese. 

Can you get sick from eating bad cheese?

Yes, you can get sick from eating bad cheese. Eating bad cheese can cause food poisoning, the severity of which depends on the amount of the bad cheese consumed and the pathogenicity of the microbes present. 

Common symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. The symptoms should be gone within 3 days. To Eat bland food and drink plenty of fluids to feel better. If the symptoms persist or progressively go worse, contact your doctor. 

What to do with bad-smelling cheese?

Cheese that smells bad or sour has likely gone bad. Some types of cheese naturally have a strong odor which may irk some people. So, make sure you know what the cheese in question smells normally. Only then you can tell when it is off.

Why does cheese spoil?

Before you, we answer this question, be clear that moldy cheeses are safe to eat as long as that mold was used in the making of the cheese. The moisture content and the rich nutritional profile of the cheese make it vulnerable to mold attack and subsequent growth.

Exposing the cheese to the air is the equivalent of exposing it to countless mold spores floating in the air that cannot be observed with the naked eye. These spores stick to the cheese surface and start proliferation, thus spoiling cheese. 

Does cheese contain mold?

Yes, cheese contains mold. Different types of cheese contain different strains of mold. Most common strains include  Penicillium (P.) roqueforti, P. glaucum, and P. candidum.

The flavor and texture of cheese depend on the mold type, type of milk used for cuddling, type of bacteria present, duration of the aging, and the processing methods. 

Blue cheeses such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Stilton, and other blue varieties are made by inoculating the milk curds with the mold culture. 

On the other hand, soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert, Humboldt Fog, and St. André are made by incorporating the mold into the milk during processing. 

Can you eat moldy cheese?

There is a difference between the mold strains that cause spoilage and that are used in the manufacturing of food such as cheese. The ones used in manufacturing are safe to eat. 

The development of blue veins or the thick rind of the cheese is a result of fermentation by the specific mold used in its making. 

The mold that causes the cheese to spoil grows in the form of colored fuzzy spots or patches on the surface of the cheese. It is easily identifiable. Moreover, the shift in color, texture, taste, and smell of the cheese is also a strong indication of spoilage. 

What to do with the moldy cheese?

If you see mold growing on your cheese, all is not lost. If it is a hard cheese such as parmesan and cheddar, you can cut off the moldy area and safely use the rest of the cheese. Cut 1 inch (2.5 cm) around and below the affected area and salvage the rest of the cheese.

If it is a soft, shredded, or sliced cheese, there is not much you can do, unfortunately. So if you see mold growing on ricotta, cream cheese, or cottage cheese, discard the cheese to avoid food poisoning.

What happens if you eat moldy cheese?

Moldy cheese may harbor pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella, and Brucella. Pathogenic molds and bacteria can cause food poisoning which is characterized by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Molds produce toxins called aflatoxins that attack your immune system, damage your liver, and increase the risk of cancer.

How to store cheese to prolong its shelf-life?

It is of no use to store cheese that is already spoiled. So, the caution starts when you have to purchase the cheese. Make sure the cheese has a uniform texture and color with no cracks or spots. 

Make sure your mold-grown cheese does not have any foreign mold growing over it. For this, you must closely inspect the cheese when purchasing. So, you would know when something unusual grows over it.

Tightly wrap the cheese in plastic film. For bonus protection, put the plastic-wrapped cheese in an air-tight container in the fridge. Make sure the fridge maintains a steady temperature of 34–38°F (1–3°C) or below.

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “Can you get sick from eating bad cheese?”, what to do with bad-smelling cheese, why does chase spoil, does cheese contain mold, can you eat moldy cheese, what to do with the moldy cheese, what happens if you eat moldy cheese, and how to store cheese. 

References 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/moldy-cheese#bottom-line

https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/a20457021/how-bad-is-it-to-eat-cheese-with-mold-on-it/

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