Is it Safe to Eat Moldy Bread or Moldy Cheese?

Immediately toss these moldy cheeses

                                                  Sasha Cresdee/Flickr

Shelke highlights soft cheeses, such as cream cheese, cottage cheese, and ricotta cheese, as well as cheeses that have been shredded, sliced, or crumbled as ones you should toss if they get moldy.

“Mold can send threads throughout soft and shredded cheeses and also support the growth of harmful bacteria, such as brucella, listeria, E. coli, and salmonella … all of which can make one very sick,” she said. 


Homemade Cottage Cheese

Creamy, all-natural homemade cottage cheese is an excellent way to use leftover milk. Course Breakfast Cuisine American, British

Keyword breakfast, cheese, keto, low-carb, milk

Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 20 mins Resting and cooling 2 hrs

Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins

Makes 6 half-cup servings Calories 391kcal Created by Katie Berry


  • Large pot

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Slotted spoon

  • Cheesecloth (or clean kitchen towel)

  • Colander

  • Medium bowl


  • 1 gallon whole milkNOT ultra-high temperature processed or “long life”
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream(optional, see step 7)

US Customary – Metric


Pour milk into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat slowly to 190°F/88°C stirring regularly so the milk doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot.Remove from heat, pour in vinegar and stir a few times. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line a colander with a clean piece of doubled cheesecloth or a tea towel. Place the colander over another bowl to catch any liquid (whey) that drips out. Spoon the solids from the pot into the lined colander. Let drain for 30 minutes.Gather the ends of the cloth tightly together and form a cloth-wrapped ball of cheese. Holding this in one hand, run cold water over the ball, kneading and squeezing it with your other hand until the entire ball of cheese is cool.Dump the cheese out of the cloth into a bowl and use a spoon to break it into small curds. Stir in salt to taste. For creamy cottage cheese, stir in the heavy cream 2 tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Check taste and add more salt if needed. Chill for at least 1 hour then stir before serving. Use within five days.


Nutritional note: Data is calculated by a software program that does not take into account the extraction of whey protein from the milk. Calories are roughly equal to the same in commercially prepared whole milk cottage cheese. (100 cal. per 1/2 cup serving.)


Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 833mg | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1022IU | Calcium: 715mg | Iron: 1mg

How does cheese get moldy?

Some cheeses are meant to be moldy, and it’s OK to eat those molds, says Jane Ziegler, D.C.N., R.D., L.D.N., associate professor and director of the Department of Clinical and Preventive Nutrition Sciences at Rutgers University. “Blue veined cheese—Roquefort, blue, Gorgonzola, and Stilton—are formed by the introduction of Penicillium roqueforti spores,” she explains. “Brie and Camembert have white surface molds. Other cheeses may have an internal and a surface mold. These cheeses are safe to eat.”

But mold spores can also latch onto your cheese through the air or water, where they can grow. “When moisture exists on any food, ventilation allows for exposure to spores, which can collect and grow on the food’s surface,” Detwiler says. “Mostly these are invisible to the naked eye, but when one can see mold, strong roots have already grown.

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The best way to store your cheese safely

The USDA specifically recommends cleaning the inside of your fridge every few months with either baking soda dissolved in water or a bleach solution to try to get rid of mold spores that could be lurking in there.

You’ll also want to keep your cheese covered in plastic wrap, and make sure you don’t leave it out of the fridge for more than two hours at a time, the USDA says. If you want to be really next-level about your cheese storage, you can try this tip from Detwiler: Wrap a hard or soft cheese in a new piece of parchment or waxed paper after each use to keep it fresh. “These breathable materials prevent mold-causing moisture from collecting on the surface without drying it out,” he says.

Bottom line: If you have moldy cheese and you’re not sure what kind it is or what to do, it’s really best to pitch it. If in doubt, throw it out.

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