Blue cheese contains an edible mold that gives it a strong flavor and smell. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but it’s perfectly safe to eat. However, like any other cheese, blue cheese can go bad and knowing how to spot this is an important part of enjoying cheese safely.
- 1 Examine the cheese
- 2 Stick to the best before date
- 3 Save the blue cheese
- 4 Tips
- 5 Warnings
Examine the cheese
Smell the cheese.
The best way to tell if your blue cheese has gone bad is to smell it. Fresh blue cheese has a strong odor, but this changes as it goes bad. Sniff the cheese and if it smells like ammonia, it’s probably bad. It’s a good idea to smell blue cheese if you’ve just brought it home. That way you’ll know how it smells when it’s fresh and will be better able to tell when the smell changes.
Look at the color.
Fresh blue cheese always contains mould, which is usually green or blue. However, you should pay attention to the color of the creamy part of the cheese. Usually, this is a shade of white, beige or yellow. If you notice that it has turned pink, brown, or green, your blue cheese has likely gone bad. As with the smell of the cheese, make sure to look at the color of the blue cheese when it’s fresh so you can spot changes more easily. In addition to changes in color, examine the cheese closely to see if its surface looks slimy or fluffy, and discard it if you notice any changes in texture.
Taste the cheese.
If your blue cheese still smells the same and hasn’t changed color, you can usually tell if it’s gone bad by tasting it. While fresh blue cheese has a strong, pungent flavor, aged cheese becomes particularly acrid when it goes bad. If you taste a piece of the blue cheese and it’s too strong for your taste, you should throw it away. In most cases, you won’t get sick from eating a bit of spoiled blue cheese, so tasting it isn’t dangerous.
Stick to the best before date
Throw away unrefrigerated blue cheese after two days.
Blue cheese should be refrigerated to keep it fresh, so leaving it on the counter will spoil it more quickly. In most cases, you’ll find that it’s gone bad after just a few days. If you accidentally left the blue cheese outside, it’s best to throw it away if it’s been 2 days or more.
Throw out refrigerated cheese after 3-4 weeks.
When stored in the fridge, blue cheese can last for quite a while. Check the expiration date on the cheese – in most cases, it lasts a week or two past the expiration date. This usually means it will keep in the fridge for three to four weeks. To keep your blue cheese fresh for as long as possible, make sure your fridge temperature is set to a maximum of 4°C.
Throw away frozen cheese after six months.
When stored at -18°C, blue cheese can last forever, which means you can freeze excess cheese if you don’t plan to eat it in the next month to prevent it from spoiling. However, for the best taste and texture, you should not freeze it for longer than half a year. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture of blue cheese can change slightly as it thaws. It loses a bit of its pungent flavor and usually crumbles more easily.
Save the blue cheese
Slice the cheese to freeze.
If you want to store blue cheese in the freezer, you’ll need to cut it into pieces, which shouldn’t be larger than about 250g each. Divide crumbly blue cheese into portions of similar weight. Use a kitchen scale to weigh the slices or portions before freezing. You can freeze blue cheese that has already been opened or served. Just make sure you divide the remaining piece of cheese into portions of around 250g as instructed above.
Double wrap the cheese.
Whether you plan to store the blue cheese in the fridge or freezer, it needs to be wrapped properly to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible. Wrap the cheese in wax or parchment paper first. Next, wrap plastic wrap around the paper to make sure the cheese doesn’t dry out. If you’re freezing the cheese, place the double-wrapped piece in a plastic freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. If you’re concerned about the cheese picking up smells from other foods in your fridge, you may want to place it in an airtight container after wrapping it for extra protection.
The colder it is stored, the longer it stays fresh. Because the lowest part of the refrigerator is usually the coldest, you’ll want to store the blue cheese on the bottom shelf to preserve it for as long as possible. If your fridge has drawers at the bottom, this is an ideal place to store blue cheeses because they’re not likely to be opened every time you look in the fridge, and the temperature in there is likely to remain stable.
If your blue cheese shows signs of spoilage when you first open it, don’t be afraid to bring it back to the store. Take the receipt with you and ask for an exchange or refund. Blue cheeses with a high moisture content spoil faster than drier varieties.
If only part of the cheese looks discolored, slimy, or furry, don’t cut off the section and eat the rest of the cheese. It’s best to throw away the whole piece, as bacteria or mold may still be present. If you’ve eaten blue cheese that you suspect has gone bad and is making you sick, your best bet is to see a doctor.
If you want to get more blue cheese deals and discounts, click here.