When you first buy a new cheese, you should unwrap it and take a sniff. This is true whether or not you plan on eating it in the near future. It also gives you the opportunity to rewrap the cheese properly (such as in cheese paper) before you put it away. Although it may seem silly, this initial sniff is important because you can use it as a basis for comparison later on if you aren’t sure if your cheese is still edible. All you have to do is unwrap your cheese and smell it; if it smells more or less the same as it originally did, it is fine to eat. Remember that some cheeses (such as cheddar) will smell slightly different as they age but still be fine.
If the cheese passes the smell test but you still aren’t sure whether or not it is good, you can take a little taste. Some people are afraid to do this but as long as the cheese smells find and you have a very small taste, you will be okay even if the cheese is no longer good. As with smells, remember that the taste of cheese will change slightly over time but a completely different taste means you should throw it out.
Know The General Shelf Life
Apart from smelling and tasting the cheese to see whether it is still good, you should also know the approximate shelf life of the various cheeses you tend to buy. Aged cheeses tend to have low moisture content and that means that they usually age very well. This means that your aged cheddar or Gouda should be fine. You can even scrape off any mold that you find. If you have a fresh cheese such as fresh mozzarella, you should try to eat them sooner rather than later. The ideal shelf life for these cheeses is 7 to 10 days but once again use your senses to judge.