Whenever you see mold on your food, the first instinct is to get rid of it, not eat it. However, it is a little different when it appears on your cheese. Yes, you can eat moldy cheese. There are few guidelines and rules of thumb that should be known before grabbing a piece of moldy cheese.
Dietitians from the Mayo Clinic report that soft cheeses that grow mold, such as cream cheese or cottage cheese, should not be eaten, but hard cheeses or even semi-soft cheeses can be eaten. The reason is fairly straightforward. When mold grows on soft cheeses, the mold is able to send root threads throughout the cheese causing the possibility for growth of bacteria, listeria and even E. coli. In hard cheeses, mold has a difficult time penetrating the cheese and taking root. Cheddar and Swiss are perfect examples of cheeses that can be eaten if mold appears. Simply shave off the area of mold and keep eating.
In order to avoid contamination, it is important to cut off approximately one inch of the area surrounding the mold to ensure it has all be removed and nothing has penetrated the cheese. Be sure to rinse your knife with soap and water if using it after cutting off the mold. The worst thing you can do is contaminate the entire piece of cheese.
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