Blue Cheese is a group of cheeses that has mold cultures like Penicillium added to its’ contents so that it maintains a ‘bluish’ or ‘dark grayish’ appearance which is where the name ‘blue cheese’ comes from. While there is mold in this kind of cheese, that is not necessarily a bad thing and helps add to the unique smell and flavor of this particular product. Elements like spores and curds are also added on to the blue cheese in order to create it’s sometimes creamy or soft texture. It’s very important for blue cheese to be stored in an area where the temperature remains the same and isn’t subject to change. It’s also true that blue cheese can be added to different foods, recipes, and ingredients by being spread, crumbled, and crushed up into smaller pieces when its’ being served. Because of the various molds and bacteria, blue cheese can have a salty taste and a strong flavor to it as well. It’s unusual smell is also a byproduct of the bacterial changes that have affected the cheese’s odor. If you’re at the local supermarket and you see a big sale on blocks of blue cheese which is often expensive to buy, should you go ahead and buy a few blocks in bulk? Will it be worth the savings in both time and money to put effort into storing the product properly? Would you be able to store the blue cheese for the long term without anything serious going wrong? The ultimate question remains; does blue cheese go bad?
Does Blue Cheese Go Bad?
Unfortunately, blue cheese can go bad but it has a very long shelf life compared to other kinds of food products. This is due to the fact that blue cheese has a bacteria and mold culture already which means that these factors don’t negatively affect the cheese but rather enhance its’ flavor and its’ texture. Blue cheese is also popular due to the fact that it is loaded with nutrients and is considered to be a healthy kind of food. Blue cheese has a good amount of carbohydrates and protein as well as fat so there’s a lot of nutritional value there for the consumer. While blue cheese can go bad, if you read on in the article to learn about proper storage, the average shelf life, and the signs to look for when it comes to identifying bad blue cheese, you’ll be prepared to preserve the blue cheese you buy next time.
Storing The Blue Cheese
Without proper storage procedures, your blue cheese won’t have a good shelf life so it’s up to you partly as to how long the blue cheese can last and stay edible. It’s important to realize that blue cheese should not be stored in plastic wrapping because it will negatively affect the ability of the microorganisms and natural bacteria within the cheese from moving around and growing.
The shelf life can be shortened due to the restricting of microorganisms from moving around within the blue cheese. Plastic covering can also negatively affect the taste and flavor of the product if its’ left on there for too long. Instead of plastic wrapping, it would be advantageous to instead wrap the blue cheese in parchment paper or an airtight container that is easily sealable before you put it into the refrigerator. You may also put the blue cheese in a plastic, Ziploc bag that can also be sealed before being placed in the fridge. The choice is yours really but it’s best to store the blue cheese in a cool, dark, and dry area like the refrigerator for the long-term. Blue cheese must also be put in its’ own area in the refrigerator away from other dairy products.
Shelf Life of Blue Cheese
You have to be very careful when it comes to the shelf life of blue cheese because if you choose to eat blue cheese past its’ date of expiration, it’s possible that you may get sick due to food poisoning. Before the blue cheese is used for the first time, it can last for about one to two months before it starts to go bad and lose its’ original quality. These one to two months come after the original date of purchase. The “Use by” or “Best before” date on the blue cheese product is not an expiration date but rather the date as to when the blue cheese will begin its’ inevitable decline in quality, taste, and texture.
When you open up the blue cheese and use it for the first time, the shelf life from that time on will be shorter at about three to four weeks or about one month total. This timeline is dependent on whether or not you store the blue cheese properly in the refrigerator and tightly seal it at all times when the product is not in use.
We already know that you can eat blue cheese which contains mold. However, check out this video that explains more about mold and which produce is still safe to eat and which are not when cutting the moldy part off:
Signs of Bad Blue Cheese
When it comes to spotting bad blue cheese, you’re going to want to look for a couple of signs that will reveal its’ current status to show whether it should be eaten or not. Unlike most food products, blue cheese is going to have mold and bacteria that has been growing inside of it for quite some time. However, that should not alarm any consumers because its’ an edible mold that is safe to eat and which helps to create its’ unique blue color. However, one of the signs to look for is discoloration of the blue cheese when it starts to look pink, green, brown, etc. after having a mostly white composure and appearance to it. The blue cheese will have gone bad if the product starts to look brown and pink instead of white with blue streaks.
If you’re still not convinced of the status of your blue cheese, you should smell it to see if it has its original scent of buttermilk or meat or if it has developed a strong, pungent odor that smells more like ammonia, which is a very bad sign. If you were still not convinced, I would recommend a taste test that’s very small in size. In order to not get yourself sick, it would be wise to take a small spoonful and taste the blue cheese to see if it has the original, unique flavor of actual cheese or if it now tastes rotten or sour. If that’s the case, throw the cheese in the trashcan because it’s not worth getting food poisoning. Overall, it’s better to be safe than sorry and to not buy a new block of blue cheese as a replacement.