Is it Safe to Eat Cheese that has Mould Growing on it?

The short answer to this is yes, it is usually okay to eat.

While we generally consider mould to be a sign of spoilage in other foods it is an integral part of the cheese-making process. It is responsible for the delicious mushroom flavours in brie and the strong salty sharpness we love in a good wedge of Tasman Blue.

The cultures in white surface-ripened cheeses like Brie and Camembert continue to do their work even after the cheese has been cut and wrapped. They sometimes grow a protective covering on the cut faces, complete with the indentations of the wrapping. We look at this as a positive, it means your cheese is still maturing and doing its thing. You can go ahead and eat it or cut it off and serve the rest.

Mould on harder cheeses may be a sign of cross-contamination, like using the same knife to cut a blue and then a hard cheese. This mould is unlikely to cause any risk, however, it can affect the taste of the cheese so simply remove the offending mould and a 2.5cm portion around it, and enjoy the rest.

If there is a furry patch on cream cheese, yoghurt, sour cream or similar I personally remove it and eat the rest, however, due to the wetter, fresher nature of these products there will certainly be spores of mould that are not visible to the naked eye so this one is totally up to you.

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