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Do You Know ... Can You Eat Moldy Cheese?

Picture this: You’re in the middle of making a legendary sandwich. You have the meat. You have the sauce. You have the veg. All that’s needed is a slice of cheddar. 

It’s your lucky day. After digging in the back of your fridge you find a forgotten brick of cheddar. All is right with the world until you unwrap it and see a fuzzy spot. This begs a question: Can you eat moldy cheese? It depends.

First, it’s good to know that people the world over enjoy moldy cheeses all the time—whether it’s blue cheese, Gorgonzola, Camembert or Brie. The molds used to make these cheeses are safe to eat, though people with compromised immune systems, like young children, the pregnant and the elderly, are advised to avoid them.

Next, understand that if you find mold on a soft cheese—like cream cheese, cheese spread, ricotta or cottage cheese—don’t eat it. Discard it! Mold can spread more easily throughout the cheese and harmful bacteria like listeria can grow along with it.

Finally, sometimes you can do something about the mold and still eat the cheese. For example, if there is a small amount of mold on hard cheeses like Parmesan or semi-hard cheeses like Cheddar, just cut at least one inch around the mold (while not letting the knife touch the mold to prevent contamination).

If you’d like to keep your cheeses fresh for prime sandwich-making moments, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or wax paper to prevent mold from growing in the first place.