General Question

jca's avatar

With cheese and cream cheese, would you cut the mold off and eat the cheese, or throw it out?

Asked by jca (28611 points ) April 27th, 2014

As asked -

If mold is on one part of cheese or cream cheese, would you cut it off and still eat the cheese or cream cheese, or would you discard the whole thing?

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19 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

Toss it. I find that cheese hardens before it molds, and rock hard cheese isn’t appetizing to me – nor is green mold on my food.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You know what I am going to say… :-)
I cut off the furry parts and use the rest as normal. I would repackage the clean part by wrapping it cellophane and would eat it as usual.

If there is less than about 1/8 to ¼ of the package I’d toss it. More than that, it gets eaten. I hate wasting food.

cazzie's avatar

I would throw out the cream cheese because it is soft and can be carrying other nasties like bacteria, but just cut it off the harder cheese because the moulds and bacteria don’t penetrate it. Here is what the Mayo Clinc says about it and why: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/food-and-nutrition/faq-20058492

hearkat's avatar

It depends – if it was the stick-like style and the one end was still wrapped tightly and soft, I might cut off the dry, moldy end. If it’s the whipped style in the tub, I’d most likely toss it.

In reality, I almost always have another unopened package of cream cheese in the fridge, so on the rare occasion that it’s around long enough to get dried out or moldy, I toss it and open a new one.

jca's avatar

What made me ask this question is that it’s cream cheese, with some green mold on one edge (maybe 1/8 of an inch). It was opened for probably a few months, but the brick was barely used. I probably opened it, used it once and then put it in the refrigerator and forgot about it.

I felt guilty and curious if I did the right thing.

hearkat's avatar

@jca – Oh, if it’s been in there opened, for “a few months”, I’d definitely toss it.

FlyingWolf's avatar

I always cut the mold off bricks of cheese. I always toss moldy cream cheese.

simone54's avatar

Most mold isn’t actually toxic to humans.

ibstubro's avatar

Moldy solid cheese, I just shave off the mold – none of that ‘cut off an inch around it’ crap. And everyone told me that I had to throw shredded cheese away if it started to mold, but I sifted it slowly out of a container and it was fine baked in a quiche.

Holey cheese like Swiss, I might pitch, or trim-and-cook.

Soft cheese like cream and cottage, I pitch. Likewise sour cream, although a friend of mine says (this is for @LuckyGuy) she routinely scrapes the mold off of sour cream. I just figure that the moisture is contaminated and it will re-mold immediately. Like @hearkat, I almost certainly have another package in the fridge.

JLeslie's avatar

I’d toss it probably. Maybe if I was going to cook the cheese in something then I would still use it. In my mind I would think there were other areas of the cheese that are high in mold count just not visible to the eye yet. Although, I have been known to cut away mold off of fruit and still eat it. I guess it partly depends on what it is and my mood. I’m inconsistent. Mold on bread I always toss the bread.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Cream cheese opened for months?

hahahahaha Toss that crap immediately and buy more.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ibstubro. What part of sour in sour cream don’t you get? :-) If the container is really furry I will toss it. but if ther are only a few colonies I will scrape them off and use it on a baked potato dusted with Zatarain’s Creole spices.

@Dan_Lyons An 8 ounce block of cream cheese is about 800 calories and almost 90% of it is fat. That is not the best thing to eat for someone concerned about weight gain.
A package will hang around in my fridge for months too. I only use it on an occasional bagel (which will be my entire breakfast) or if I am baking a crab dip for company. I never force feed myself so I can “use up” something. I will give it to wildlife outside if I want to get rid of it.

tedibear's avatar

Delis and other stores selling cheese that they cut and wrap at the store routinely check each piece for mold. (Typically once a day before the store opens.) When a piece with mold is found, it is removed from the case. The mold is removed from all the pieces of cheese, the cheese is wrapped and sealed in clean plastic wrap and put back out for sale. The moldy bits are written off as spoilage and thrown out. When I worked for Hickory Farms, we called this “picking flowers.” Nothing wrong with it as the cheese itself is fine.

dappled_leaves's avatar

With hard cheeses, I never hesitate to cut off the mold and repackage. Green mold on cream cheese… that’s unusual. Normally, if it’s been in the fridge too long, it will get dry and cracked around the edges. Green mold tells me it’s been contaminated by something I don’t particularly want to get to know better. I’d throw it out.

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flo's avatar

No way don’t take a chance. I understand that the mold is most likely there in soft cheeses even if it not visible.

ibstubro's avatar

It’s the moisture content I question about sour cream and cottage cheese, and possibly cream cheese, @LuckyGuy.& @jca. Liquid supports life, and the more liquid it is, the more likely the bacteria has spread.

I must say that I’ll not put opened cream cheese back in my fridge, normally, because I only use it to cook, and only open what’s needed. If I was going to use cream cheese on a bagel or something, I’d buy the stuff in a tub – I’d have less of a problem shaving the whole top with a spoon and using if it molded.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If at all possible I try not to waste anything. If the whole is OK but one spot or so develops a spot of mold, so long as it is not stale, hack the bad and save the good. To just toss it is IMO a de facto flaunting of arrogance of one fortunate not to be born in such a desperate land. It is almost as bad as tossing a whole good burger because you noticed a fly walking on the bun for 5 seconds when you were distracted in conversation. If you were that put off by it, pinch that part off, the fly did not affect the pickles and onions on the inside.

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