Does Brie Cheese Go Bad

Most people love brie cheese for its creamy mild flavor. If you stock up on it, you eventually have to ask yourself: “does brie cheese go bad?”

Or maybe you’re not quite sure how to tell if brie cheese is bad. On most foods, whenever you see mold, you now that the product is spoiled. But since brie comes with a rind of white mold, that method obviously doesn’t work.

If you’d like to learn more about storage methods, shelf life, and signs of spoilage of brie cheese, this article is for you. Read on.

How To Store Brie Cheese

Like other cheese varieties, like feta or blue cheese, you should store brie in the fridge. As long as it’s unopened, its original packaging is perfectly fine.

Once you open the wrapped wedge, the most important thing to remember is to keep leftover brie well wrapped. A good wrap keeps the air and strong odors from the fridge out and the moisture in. It also prevents the mold spores from spreading throughout the refrigerator and contaminating other food.

When it comes to how you should wrap the leftover cheese, usually you can just use the original wrap. If that’s not an option, go for cheese wrap or wax paper.

Last but not least, brie is best served at room temperature. Thus it’s usually a good idea to take it out of the fridge about half an hour before serving.

Slice of brie cheese
Image used under Creative Commons from Sara

Can You Freeze Brie Cheese?

Well, the general consensus is that you shouldn’t freeze soft cheeses. But if it’s either freezing or leaving it to go bad, freezing is definitely a better choice.

Like with cottage cheese or yogurt, or almost any dairy product for that matter, the texture will be changed after thawing. Brie will become crumbly, so it almost certainly won’t be good enough in a sandwich or as a side for your breakfast. But it should work fairly well in cooked dishes, like casseroles or stews.

When it comes to how to freeze it, just put it in a freezer bag, squeeze as much air as possible and chuck into the freezer. A good wrap is the most important thing here, and a freezer bag seems to be the best option.

Preparing Brie for breakfast
(credit: Allie Smith)

How Long Does Brie Cheese Last

Let’s talk briefly about the production process because it’s important to the shelf life of this soft cheese. White-mold cheeses take about 6 to 8 weeks to mature. For the first month or even longer they mature in a controlled environment to ensure the mold sets in properly. Then the cheese is packaged and goes to your local grocer and ends up in the refrigerated section.

The cheese comes with a best-by (or use-by, or sell-by) date, but unlike almost all other food products, eating it as soon as you buy it isn’t optimal. On the contrary, many producers recommend enjoying it near the date on the label for peak quality.

Remember that brie needs about 6 to 8 weeks to mature? Once it gets to the shelf, it usually still has about 2 to 3 weeks to ripen fully.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong about eating it right away. You just should be aware that the taste and texture of brie change over time. That also means that the cheese won’t spoil right after the date on the label, but all the processes happening inside it will continue.

That means that a week past that date, the cheese should still be quite tasty. But sooner or later you’ll end up with overripe brie, that doesn’t satisfy your palate.

Please note that there is little to no difference between an unopened or opened brie when it comes to shelf life. An unopened wedge will continue ripening the same way an opened one does.

 Fridge
Brie cheese (unopened or opened)Best-by + 1 week

Please note that the period above is for the best quality.

Plate with cheese, deli meat, fruits, and olives
(credit: Erik Dungan)

How To Tell If Brie Cheese Is Bad?

First off, look for any signs of mold that’s not native to white-mold cheeses. That means any green or blue spores on the surface. If there are any, discard the cheese.

Given that the surface is okay, cut a slice and judge its quality. If it has a darkened color, smells off, or the texture is altered, throw it out.

Please remember that the cheese continues to mature the whole time you store it. So while after two or three weeks past the date on the label it might still be perfectly safe to eat, the taste likely won’t be anywhere near acceptable. And if the taste isn’t good enough, cut your losses and throw it out.