Thursday, October 4, 2012

Can You Get Sick Or Die From Bad Cheese?


Molds that grow on cheese can range in color from white to green and can grow on all types of cheeses, from mozzarella to brie. Many people are under the misconception that since cheeses are produced from mold, then eating moldy cheese can’t hurt you. While it is true that mold does play a role in the production of some cheese curds, you should never eat mold that has grown on cheese unless it’s part of the cheese like Bleu cheese.

How Mold Grows On Cheese

Mold typically grows on cheeses and other foods due to a lack of proper storage process facilitated by moisture seeping in. For example, if you wrap a piece of room temperature cheddar cheese tightly in plastic wrap, the warmth of the cheese combined with the cool refrigerated air will cause condensation, or moisture, to form on the inside of the plastic wrap making it more susceptible to mold. When just one mold spore invades your piece of cheese, then it rapidly reproduces, causing more.

Cheese Produced With Mold

Some cheeses are produced using mold. Brie and Camembert, for example, are two soft cheese curds that have a rind produced from molding and the rinds are safe to eat. If you cut your Brie and the open, exposed part later grows mold that is a completely different process. Bacteria such as E.Coli and Salmonella often accompany molds that grow on cheeses after production, and those bacteria can kill you. Many Bleu cheeses have mold running throughout the entire piece, and those molds are safe to eat if the cheese has been properly contained and no additional mold has grown on it.

Bleu cheeses have a specific type of mold, such as the P. roqueforti spore used to make Roquefort Bleu cheese, so any other type of mold growing on the cheese can be harmful to your health. Many soft cheeses such as Mozzarella, Cottage or Riccota, should never be eaten if they have mold on them because mold is not used to produce them. Cheddar can have the mold cut off (about an inch into the cheese) and be safe.

Effects Of Eating Moldy Cheese

If you eat Mozzarella, cheddar, or any other cheese that mold has grown on, the effects could be anywhere from minimal to serious. Most of the time, the acids in the stomach will kill the mold spores, and you will suffer no ill effects. If your immune system is in a compromised state, however, then the effects of the mold could lead to some intestinal problems that typically aren’t more severe than mild cramping or diarrhea. It is the presence of bacteria along with the mold that causes the most serious problems, and there is no way to be sure that the moldy cheese curds you’ve eaten aren’t also teeming with bacteria.

33 comments:

  1. I have some blue mold growing on Mozzarella. I cut 98% of it off and the melted the rest in the microwave. I figure the heat would kill the bacteria. Then I refrigerated it. Have not eaten it yet; waiting for your opinion. Tks.

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    1. Don't do it. lol. The microwave "heat" is not hot enough to kill the spores.

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    2. Don't melt and re-solidify cheese.

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    3. Great question hahah

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  3. Good article, more comprehensive than the other sites offered. This is what I needed for common sense solutions to avoid wasting good food, yet feeling safe. Thank you for your knowledge, edification, and clarity. I feel reassured to consume carefully any cheese that has mold on it. Look before you leap.

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  4. Yes but what about people with bipolar depression and in what form eaten. Like what about nachos? I eat cheese but am technically considered to have dairy allergies. Tho usually not to much

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  5. Let me know what you think about people with bipolar depression and eating cheese. Also I am technically considered dairy allergies but most times not to extreme and can be mild acid reflux gas mainly have. Just curious also is cheese on nachos melted a bad form of eating cheese

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  6. Thank you.
    My bf realised he ate a piece of moldy cheese and was flipping out thinking he was going to die, he ate a price and didn't realise it he said it tasted crappy, then when we came back after our nap, we discovered green mold.
    Also I don't know if its anything but he thinks that the Moldy cheese might have caused him to have a very unusual dream/nightmare, Do you think this could cause this?
    Just want to know...

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  7. Thank you.
    My bf realised he ate a piece of moldy cheese and was flipping out thinking he was going to die, he ate a price and didn't realise it he said it tasted crappy, then when we came back after our nap, we discovered green mold.
    Also I don't know if its anything but he thinks that the Moldy cheese might have caused him to have a very unusual dream/nightmare, Do you think this could cause this?
    Just want to know...

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    1. I imagine the bad dream was from taking a nap. You are more likely to remember dreams from a nap than from a full night's sleep.

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    2. yes symptoms of eating heat killed bacteria/mold can be very strange. Nightmares, muscle twitches, headaches, heart skipping beats etc. But you will be ok

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  8. If I eat a very small portion of greensh blue mold on my cheese stick would I get sick?? I did not notice until I got a weird taste.

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  9. I ate moldy cheese and now I'm going to die. #Pray4Me

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  10. i accidentally ate 1 and a half pieces of moldy pepper jack cheese am I going to be OK? (Just a little side note I am a very healthy person I eat lots of fruits and veggies and exercise regularly.)

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  11. I am writing from the other side after licking a dodgy Dairy Lea Triangle to warn you that cheese with mold will definitely kill you. See you when you get here bring a fan - it's hot!!!

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  12. Megan yes you are going to die. Say goodbyes now.

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  13. Megan yes you are going to die. Say goodbyes now.

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  14. i accidentally ate shredded mexican cheese. Cheddar and mozzarella, I think. After eating enough to cover 3 white bread slices, I realized clumps of green mold in it. SO scared!!! WIll I be sick or die????!!!!

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  15. I ate some molded pepperjack. Should I drink excessive amounts of alcohol? Would that help kill anything other than my liver?

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  16. My job has cheese that is past its due date...I ate a pizza with some of the cheese on it and can barely make it out of the bathroom for a few minutes...my question: could I have fallen prey to this?

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  17. I accidentally ate a couple of cheese curds that tasted fine then saw a couple of moldy ones in the bag after I had already swallowed... what should I do?

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  18. I do believe that drinking vinegar with moldy cheese or, almost any other tainted food stuffs will kill the bad bacteria. I had some moldy mozzarella (hence, the google search and my winding up here), washed it off and added it to the top of a dish that I placed in the convection oven. I cooked it with the convection setting for about 10mins before removing and eating. The cheese still smelled and tasted tainted and I got worried so, I drank 1.5tbsps of Bragg brand apple cider vinegar. 3hrs later, I feel fine. 20yrs ago, I learned that vinegar kills bad bacteria. I had sever stomach cramps from food poisoning. It felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach. I instinctively reached for some red wine vinegar and drank a couple of table spoons of it straight. The paint disappeared instantly and I never felt any symptoms later. I believe it was God who put it in my head to drink the vinegar because it was like I was on auto-pilot. Anyway, just wanted to let people know about the vinegar remedy for food poisoning. NOTE: It only works on bad bacteria in your stomach, I believe because I have tried it hours after I noticed symptoms of food poisoning, on another occasion, and it didn't work.

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  19. I ate moldy mozzarella and now I am tripping balls. I'll never eat cheese without mold again.

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  20. I ate some moldy mozzarella cheese on a pizza and now I am tripping balls. I'll never eat cheese without mold again except when operating heavy machinery, going to work, or sewing.

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  21. Omg i just ate a sandwich with mozzarella in it that i put in the microwave to melt. Before that the cheese had mold so i cut and threw away the infected part only but as i ate through my sandwich some part of the melted cheese tasted so weird so i started to worry. Thank you for the information.

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  22. I had ready grated cheese that you buy from supermarkets. I was eating my sandwich then on the side of the late their was a black and blue bit of mouldy cheese. I ate half a sandwich and couldn't spot any more mould but not eating it to be on the safe side

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  23. I cooked moldy mozzarella in meatballs. Is the heat from cooking it enough to kill the bacteria?

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  24. I had a very big chunk of mozzarella cheese in the fridge sitting there for a long time and I saw green mold on a very small part of it and cut the moldy part and then cut all the edges and sides of the cheese and seemingly some good parts of it and ate the rest. It didn't taste very fresh but it didn't taste bad so I didn't mind. Two hours later I had an exploding diarrhea. Now I have to drink lots of water not to be dehydrated. DON'T EAT MOLDED CHEESE!

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  25. So, came here because I was stupid. I had some smoked gouda that had mold on one end. I wiped off the other end (just in case) and ate it. I've had diarrhea and stomach cramps since then (and have thrown out the cheese). It's been nearly a week...is there anything I can do to get back to normal, or do I absolutely have to go to a doctor?

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