Does Blue Cheese Go Bad?

Does blue cheese go bad? This is the most common question most consumers ask after the initial purchase of blue cheese. Blue cheese refers to cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk cheese which has had a mold penicillium culture added to it so that the final cheese product is veined or spotted throughout with blue mold. Blue cheese has a characteristic sharp and salty flavor which can be attributed to the bacteria and mould which normally grows on the cheese. This distinct flavor has made the cheese popular amongst many individuals in the modern world.

Blue cheese was discovered in the French town of Roquefort where cheese makers used to grow mold used for cheese making in caves which had naturally occurring penicillium mold. Blue cheese has got high nutritional value; the following is a breakdown of the nutritional content for 100g of blue cheese:

Calorie content 353
Carbohydrates 28.74g
Protein 21.40g
Fat 28.74g

A wedge of blue cheese.
Image used under Creative Commons from cookbookman17

How to store blue cheese

Proper storage of blue cheese is very essential as it is a chief determinant when it comes to the shelf life of the blue cheese. When storing cheese it is important to note that under no condition should blue cheese be stored in plastic wrapping. The reason behind this is that blue cheese has micro organisms growing within it and restriction of air circulation is the worst mistake an individual can make since it will reduce shell life. Plastic wrapping also has a taste associated with it and it is a matter of hours before this flavor makes its way to the face of the cheese.

In view of this, the best way of storing cheese is to first wrap the blue cheese in waxed parchment paper before placing it in the refrigerator. It is also recommended that the cheese should be put in a loose plastic bag to keep out the fridge odors. Be careful not to place other types of cheese near the blue cheese as the mould type in blue cheese is different from that of other cheese types.

Shelf life of blue cheese

This is one of the most important factors when it comes to the purchase and consumption of blue cheese. Knowing the shelf life duration of blue cheese is very essential since consumption of spoilt blue cheese might cause food poisoning. The shelf life of a product can be described as the time period within which a product is safe for consumption after the initial opening of the product.

Research has shown that blue cheese usually takes a period of 3 to 4 weeks before it can be considered unfit for consumption. This effectively answers the question: does blue cheese go bad? However, for blue cheese to last for this period of time, proper storage procedures should be followed.

How to tell if blue cheese is bad

Blue cheese usually contains an edible mould which is safe to eat. This mould is usually instrumental in the spoiling of blue cheese. In view of this, knowing how to spot spoilt cheese is very important as consumption of bad cheese can be very dangerous. There are many ways through which an individuals can determine this, some of the most common methods include. Color check – the color of the blue cheese is a good indicator of whether the cheese has turned bad. You should not look at the blue streaks or spots as these never change, the white or creamy part of the cheese is usually the best indicator. If this area has changed color to pink, green, brown or is yellowed beyond the usual color, the cheese has gone bad and should be discarded. Smell- good cheese usually has an odor of beef, meat or buttermilk. However, when the blue cheese goes bad, it will give off a smell akin to ammonia. This is a good indication of spoiled blue cheese.

Blue cheese can be served in many ways. For instance, it can be used as a filling for omelets, used in salads and even served as a dressing for meat dishes. However, it is usually recommended that an individual should carry out proper storage procedures to avoid food poisoning. With this simple procedure, an individual can be able to enjoy blue cheese with a healthy and safe way.