Cheese is a delicious and versatile food that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether you use it to top a pizza, melt it on a sandwich, or simply eat it on its own, cheese is a staple in many households. However, it’s important to know how to tell if cheese is bad, so that you can avoid getting sick from eating spoiled dairy products. In this article, we will discuss the signs that cheese has gone bad and what to do if you suspect that your cheese is no longer safe to eat.
How to Check the Expiration Date on Cheese
The easiest way to tell if cheese is bad is to look at the expiration date. Cheese typically has a sell-by date or a use-by date stamped on the packaging. If the cheese is past this date, it’s best to throw it away. However, if the cheese still looks and smells fresh, it may still be safe to eat.
How to Look for Signs of Spoilage
If you don’t see an expiration date on your cheese or if you want to double-check its freshness, you can look for signs of spoilage. One of the most common signs that cheese is bad is mold. If you see mold on the cheese, it’s best to throw it away. Other signs of spoilage include discoloration, a sour or ammonia-like smell, and a slimy or gritty texture. These are all indicators that the cheese has gone bad and should not be consumed.
How to Store Cheese Properly
One way to prevent cheese from going bad is to store it properly. Cheese should be kept in the refrigerator at a temperature between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also important to keep the cheese in its original packaging or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. If you’re storing cheese for an extended period of time, you can also freeze it. However, be aware that freezing can alter the texture and flavor of some cheeses, so it’s best to use frozen cheese for cooking rather than eating it on its own.
FAQs about How to Tell if Cheese is Bad
Q: Can you eat cheese after the expiration date?
A: It’s not recommended to eat cheese after the expiration date, as it may be spoiled and could make you sick.
Q: What should I do if I accidentally eat bad cheese?
A: If you experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea after eating cheese, seek medical attention immediately.
Q: How long does cheese last in the refrigerator?
A: This depends on the type of cheese, but most cheeses will last between 1-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
Q: Can you cut mold off of cheese and still eat it?
A: It’s not recommended to eat cheese with mold on it, even if you cut off the affected area. Mold can produce toxins that can make you sick, and it’s difficult to know how deep the mold has penetrated into the cheese.
Knowing how to tell if cheese is bad is an important skill for any cheese lover. By checking the expiration date, looking for signs of spoilage, and storing cheese properly, you can ensure that your cheese is safe to eat and delicious. If you’re ever in doubt about the freshness of your cheese, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and throw it away.