Questions and Answers – Mold on Cheese
I know you can eat mold on blue cheese. How safe is it to eat grated cheddar cheese with mold? – Julia Rogers (12/04/01)
Is it safe to eat mold on cheese?
Molds are used to make certain kinds of cheeses and can be on the surface of cheese or be developed internally. Blue veined cheese such as Roquefort, blue, Gorgonzola, and Stilton are created by the introduction of P. roqueforti or Penicillium roqueforti spores. Cheeses such as Brie and Camembert have white surface molds. Other cheeses have both an internal and a surface mold. The molds used to manufacture these cheeses are safe to eat.
Hard cheese (not cheese where mold is part of the processing) – If the mold is not too much, just cut it off. Cut off at least one inch around and below the mold spot (keep the knife out of the mold itself so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese). After trimming off the mold, re-cover the cheese in fresh wrap. Mold generally cannot penetrate deep into the product.
Cheese made with mold (such as Roquefort, blue, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Brie, Camembert) – Some cheeses are actually made from mold and are safe to eat. Discard soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert if they contain molds that are not a part of the manufacturing process. Molds that are not a part of the manufacturing process can be dangerous.
Soft cheese (such as cottage, cream cheese, Neufchatel, chevre, Bel Paese, etc.) – Discard. Foods with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface. Shredded, sliced, or crumbled cheese can be contaminated by the cutting instrument. Moldy soft cheese can also have bacteria growing along with the mold.
Yogurt and sour cream – Discard. Foods with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface. Moldy foods may also have bacteria growing along with the mold.
IMPORTANT – People with mold allergy often are advised by their doctors to avoid eating mold-ripened cheese and restrict themselves to processed cheeses.