It’s unclear exactly how many different types of mold there are, but there may be 300,000 or more. Of course, not all molds pose a risk. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/molds-on-food-are-they-dangerous_/ct_index. And how bad is it to eat cheese with mold on it, anyway? Detwiler breaks down possible outcomes this way: “To be safe, it is better to toss the cheese, especially when there are children and individuals at high-risk in the household,” Ziegler says. However, these cheeses, as well as other soft cheeses and cheeses made with unpasteurized milk, are best avoided by people with weakened immune systems, older adults, pregnant women, infants and young children. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. If you eat Mozzarella, cheddar, or any other cheese that mold has grown on, the effects could be anywhere from minimal to serious. Some cheeses are meant to be moldy, and it’s OK to eat those molds, says Jane Ziegler, D.C.N., R.D., L.D.N., associate professor and director of the Department of Clinical and Preventive Nutrition Sciences at Rutgers University. Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). But mold spores can also latch onto your cheese through the air or water, where they can grow. If in doubt, throw it out. Accessed Aug. 28, 2018. If your cheese is hard or semi-soft, like cheddar, Parmesan, or Swiss, Detwiler says you might be OK to cut off the moldy part and eat the rest of the cheese. That’s where the mental dilemma comes in: Do you really have to chuck the whole thing? This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2018. Cut off at least 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) around and below the moldy spot. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with a soft cheese, shredded cheese, or sliced cheese. Taste is the one indicator that is a dead giveaway that your cheese is bad. If your immune system is in a compromised state, however, then the effects of the mold could lead to some intestinal problems that … “Brie and Camembert have white surface molds. You’ll also want to keep your cheese covered in plastic wrap, and make sure you don’t leave it out of the fridge for more than two hours at a time, the USDA says. Here’s What Sugar Really Does to Your Brain. These cheeses are safe to eat.”. Listeria. Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. Certain molds can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems, the USDA says. With these cheeses, the mold can send threads throughout the cheese — contaminating more than you see. This content does not have an English version. If you want to be really next-level about your cheese storage, you can try this tip from Detwiler: Wrap a hard or soft cheese in a new piece of parchment or waxed paper after each use to keep it fresh. Sadly cheese doesn’t live forever and most times you’ll have to use two or all three of these to determine if … Foodborne illness: What consumers need to know. “Mostly these are invisible to the naked eye, but when one can see mold, strong roots have already grown. The same goes for any kind of cheese that's shredded, crumbled or sliced. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/foodborne-illness-and-disease/foodborne-illness-what-consumers-need-to-know/ct_index. Bottom line: If you have moldy cheese and you’re not sure what kind it is or what to do, it’s really best to pitch it. Plus, the best way to store your cheese so it stays fresher for longer. AskMayoExpert. “If you do eat a food past the expiration date [and the food] is spoiled, you could develop symptoms of food poisoning,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Summer Yule, MS. Other cheeses may have an internal and a surface mold. Soft cheeses, such as cottage cheese, cream cheese and ricotta, with mold should be discarded. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 28, 2018. Effects Of Eating Moldy Cheese. Some will do nothing, while others can make you really sick. Would You Eat Cheese Made from Belly Button Bacteria? The USDA specifically recommends cleaning the inside of your fridge every few months with either baking soda dissolved in water or a bleach solution to try to get rid of mold spores that could be lurking in there. Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some types of mold are used to make cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert. Many have a body that consist of root threads that invade the food it lives on, a stalk that rises above the food, and spores that form at the ends of the stalks. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. In addition, harmful bacteria, such as listeria, brucella, salmonella and E. coli, can grow along with the mold. “When moisture exists on any food, ventilation allows for exposure to spores, which can collect and grow on the food’s surface,” Detwiler says. See our safe care and visitor guidelines, plus trusted coronavirus information. Most molds are threadlike, multi-celled organisms that are transported by water, air, or insects, the USDA says. It could taste bad or you might get an upset stomach. So, when you come across cheese that’s been hanging out for a while, there’s a solid chance it could have grown mold. Most of the time, the acids in the stomach will kill the mold spores, and you will suffer no ill effects. In addition, harmful bacteria, such as listeria, brucella, salmonella and E. coli, can grow along with the … Accessed Aug. 28, 2018. Be sure to keep the knife out of the mold, so it doesn't contaminate other parts of the cheese. Can you cut off the moldy part and eat the rest? Mold may be more likely to spread widely in soft foods, ruining even the parts that look OK, while it may be more localized in dense, hard foods, like a Parmesan cheese. Go here to subscribe to Prevention and get 12 FREE gifts. “Cut off at least one inch around and below the moldy spot,” he says. What Really Happens If You Never Replace Your Pillows. With these cheeses, the mold can send threads throughout the cheese — contaminating more than you see. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. What Happens If You Eat Food That Fell on the Floor? Life's biggest riddle, answered: What happens if you eat moldy cheese, according to a nutritionist. Want healthier recipes? There’s a wide range here and a lot depends on the type of mold and whether it’s harboring bacteria—things you really can’t tell simply by eyeballing it. So you can cut away the moldy part and eat the rest of the cheese. “Be sure to keep the knife out of the mold, so it doesn’t contaminate other parts of the cheese.”. “Even though you pull it out, it still has roots and it’s just going to grow back.”. And in the case of cheese, you are at risk of food poisoning once you’ve eaten either: Cheese made with unpasteurized milk, or Bad cheese that is contaminated while … Prevention participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. If you're not sure what type of cheese you have or what to do if it grows mold, the safe course is to discard it. The same goes for any kind of cheese that's shredded, crumbled or sliced.