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Old 09-12-2009, 07:53 PM
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White Powder on Cheddar Cheese - Spoiled?

I have a packet of cheddar cheese, unopened, with an expiry date of 13 November. There are clearly lines of powdery substance on the cheese, just as I've seen before when I kept a large block of it too long. It is sandwich sliced, so I can't just carve the powdery part off and use it.

Is this just normal for cheddar, or should I toss the pack unopened?

ETA: I should point out that it's intended for use by a toddler, and an adult who gets food poisoning easily, so we're not looking to take any risks.

Last edited by TruCelt; 09-12-2009 at 07:54 PM.
Old 09-12-2009, 08:05 PM
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I've never seen cheddar with white powder on it that wasn't spoiled by nasty smelly mold. I'd go ahead and open it, and if it doesn't smell moldy, I'd use it (maybe wipe it down with a vinegar-soaked paper towel first). But my guess is that it'll have that nasty moldy smell to it.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:25 PM
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Very mature cheddars sometimes have granular white bits in/on them - but I'm guessing that ready-sliced cheese isn't going to be an extra mature variety.

Cheerse in my fridge often gets white mould on it, especially if I've got soft cheeses in with natural white mould rinds (Brie, Camembert) and I've been promiscuous with the cheese knife - this doesn't bother me much, but given the facts in your case, I'd think it's better to be safe than sorry.
Old 09-12-2009, 08:28 PM
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Toss the pack???

I dont understand that kind of thinking----Please, all you need to do is go down to the store where you payed your hard earned money for the spoiled product (no receipt necc.) and ask them nicely for a package that is not moldy.

I PROMISE you they will be more than happy to allow you to go grab another package, and be on your way with the delicious, non-spoiled cheese that you payed perfectly good money in the first place for.

I assume that the store has a bigger loss budget/profit margin than your household does, but if you are independently wealthy, please feel free to ignore my suggestion, toss the food in the trash and go pay for a new package.

Last edited by MPB in Salt Lake; 09-12-2009 at 08:30 PM.
Old 09-12-2009, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
promiscuous with the cheese knife

I'm stealing this for the best singles ad ever!
Old 09-12-2009, 09:07 PM
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I found that with hard cheeses, you can cut away the spoiled part and be fine. I've also heard rewrapping the cheese in vinegar-soaked cheesecloth can help.
Old 09-12-2009, 09:26 PM
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Question -- I've been told that cheese mold actually isn't BAD for you to eat. Is this true? (Not that I want to, mind you!)
Old 09-12-2009, 09:34 PM
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Isn't the whitish powder the start of mold, it might turn green later? I cut or scrape away anything white or green, and take a taste of the cheese. If it doesn't taste moldy, I'll use it. Been doing this for years and we are still alive. Every reference to mold on cheese I've ever read says to just cut the moldy part off and its OK to use.

But in the OP's case, better to be safe than sorry.
Old 09-12-2009, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinastasia View Post
Question -- I've been told that cheese mold actually isn't BAD for you to eat. Is this true? (Not that I want to, mind you!)
This is a good resource on mold: http://fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/...food/index.asp, and the answer seems to be that the kind of mold that isn't bad is the kind that's used in the manufacturing process.
Old 09-13-2009, 01:22 AM
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One semester I took a medical microbiology class in college. Tony was a great instructor.

One of his quotes (paraphrased): "By the time you can see the (bacteria/mold/whatever) on the food, it's already too late. Even small doses of infection can be dangerous."

The point: Just because you don't see any food rotting, doesn't mean it isn't. I believe that's why many microwave dinners nowadays include in their instructions (as a last step): "Check the temperature of the meat with a thermometer to ensure it has been thoroughly cooked. Your microwave may vary on heat settings." (Again, paraphrased) Looks like a legal disclaimer.

This class is also the reason I have not eaten seafood since 1992. Man, you wouldn't believe seafood.

Last edited by Uncle Brother Walker; 09-13-2009 at 01:24 AM. Reason: For those with a compromised constitution, it is even a greater risk. Don't take the chance.
Old 09-13-2009, 05:03 AM
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Cheese mold? Scrape it off, eat the rest.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:33 AM
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If it weren't already cut into slices, I'd say cut the mold off and eat the rest--I've done that plenty of times on a block of cheese with no ill-effects--but as it's sliced....I can't see that working. I second MBP and say take it back for a refund, if it's indeed a money thing. (I've never bothered returning anything but that's because I'm pathologically lazy.)

Anecdotally, a friend of mine made her son a pizza with spoiled shredded cheese (she didn't notice the powder cuz it was white and so was the cheese) and when he told her it tasted funny, she told him he was being whiny and to eat it anyway.

When he started vomiting later on she felt quite terrible.

Don't be like my friend.

Throw the cheese out or exchange it!
Old 09-13-2009, 09:17 AM
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It's mold. Exchange it. It doesn't matter if it's safe to eat or not. It's not intended to be moldy so it's not the product intended for sale.
Old 09-13-2009, 10:14 AM
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now I'm hungry for cheese... (not moldy cheese, mind you, but cheese nonetheless)
Old 09-13-2009, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPB in Salt Lake View Post
Toss the pack???

I dont understand that kind of thinking----Please, all you need to do is go down to the store where you payed your hard earned money for the spoiled product (no receipt necc.) and ask them nicely for a package that is not moldy.

I PROMISE you they will be more than happy to allow you to go grab another package, and be on your way with the delicious, non-spoiled cheese that you payed perfectly good money in the first place for.

I assume that the store has a bigger loss budget/profit margin than your household does, but if you are independently wealthy, please feel free to ignore my suggestion, toss the food in the trash and go pay for a new package.
Yeah, I know. And they know me, and they really would be more than happy to take care of it. But would I pay $3.59 not to have to skip the playground visit (which means trouble getting Celtling to bed); unbuckle a squirming child from a car seat; carry the 32 pounds of squirm into the store; walk all the way over to exchange the package . . . you get the picture.

Of course, I could also schlep it in to work the next time I'm planning an actual grocery run; let it sit in the car for 72 minutes while I drop off Celtling and head in to work; remember to carry it in from the car and store it in the fridge all day; remember to put it back in the car at the end of the day; let it sit for another 72 minutes. . .

It would actually make a pretty good Onion headline: Single Working Mom of Toddler Summons Energy to Stand on Principle Over Powdery Cheddar.



Thanks all - good advice, as usual!
Old 09-13-2009, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruCelt View Post
Yeah, I know. And they know me, and they really would be more than happy to take care of it. But would I pay $3.59 not to have to skip the playground visit (which means trouble getting Celtling to bed); unbuckle a squirming child from a car seat; carry the 32 pounds of squirm into the store; walk all the way over to exchange the package . . . you get the picture.

Of course, I could also schlep it in to work the next time I'm planning an actual grocery run; let it sit in the car for 72 minutes while I drop off Celtling and head in to work; remember to carry it in from the car and store it in the fridge all day; remember to put it back in the car at the end of the day; let it sit for another 72 minutes. . .

It would actually make a pretty good Onion headline: Single Working Mom of Toddler Summons Energy to Stand on Principle Over Powdery Cheddar.



Thanks all - good advice, as usual!

Since they will throw it out after you give it to them (and you get your replacement package) it dosent really matter if it sits in the car for a while until you can hit the store.

BTW I was not trying to be snarky with my initial post; I just wanted to make sure that you knew that even with no reciept the store would give you a new package, no questions asked----you payed for a package that should be fresh and mold free until the expiration date, and you should not have to take the loss.

Stores build that kind of thing into thier budget, and will write off the loss. $3.59 is not much, but..............

Enjoy your evening, Matthew
Old 09-13-2009, 11:30 PM
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Exchange it or toss it. Don't feed it to a toddler or someone susceptible to food poisoning.
Old 09-14-2009, 01:43 AM
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It would actually make a pretty good Onion headline: Single Working Mom of Toddler Summons Energy to Stand on Principle Over Powdery Cheddar.


Good one!
Old 09-14-2009, 03:12 AM
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Cheddar cheese often gets a white deposit on the surface (I'm not sure I would call it "powdery" exactly). My mum told me it was just fat migrating to the surface of the cheese, and I've had no reason to doubt her. Certainly it never did me any harm if I ate the cheese, although if there was a lot of it I would tend to scrape it off first.
Old 09-14-2009, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salinqmind View Post
Isn't the whitish powder the start of mold, it might turn green later? I cut or scrape away anything white or green, and take a taste of the cheese. If it doesn't taste moldy, I'll use it. Been doing this for years and we are still alive.
Well, we only have your word for that, don't we. Cite that you are still alive?
Old 02-29-2012, 01:13 PM
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Mold on cheese

What's the big deal? Cheese is _already_ mold! Ever seen bleu, or smelled limburger?

Scrape it off if it's unsightly, but it very probably won't pizen you - it's just the cheddar trying to make more cheddar!
Old 02-29-2012, 01:19 PM
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Well, I expect that after two and a half years it's gone beyond being just a little moldy.
Old 02-29-2012, 01:23 PM
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Cheese comes in packets?

must be another cookie/biscuit thing...
Old 02-29-2012, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Brother Walker View Post
One semester I took a medical microbiology class in college. Tony was a great instructor.

One of his quotes (paraphrased): "By the time you can see the (bacteria/mold/whatever) on the food, it's already too late. Even small doses of infection can be dangerous.".
Here's actual evidence to the contrary. Basically, there are two types of way foods go bad: spoilage vs. pathogens.

Spoilage smells, looks, and tastes horrible, but it not harmful to eat. Why? Because the evolutionary purpose of the smells and tastes are to keep other creatures from eating the food. The bacteria/mold/whatever can't survive the digestive tract, so it developed methods to keep from being eatn.

Pathogens, on the other hand, need to be eaten to survive. They give no clues to their harmfulness because, from an evolutionary standpoint, it would be counterproductive.

Thus the molds are probably not going to make you sick. If you can see them the are warning you to stay away from their food.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfactor View Post
This is a good resource on mold: http://fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/...food/index.asp, and the answer seems to be that the kind of mold that isn't bad is the kind that's used in the manufacturing process.
That link says:

Hard cheese
(not cheese where mold is part of the processing) Use. Cut off at least 1 inch around and below the mold spot (keep the knife out of the mold itself so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese). After trimming off the mold, re-cover the cheese in fresh wrap. Mold generally cannot penetrate deep into the product.

Also, I have a degree in microbiology and recall learning that organisms which cause food poisoning do not grow at refrigerator temperatures - food will look, smell and taste awful long before it can poison you.

All bets are off if you leave the food on a warming tray for hours or overnight and then refrigerate it, it could be bad by the time it goes in
Old 02-29-2012, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
Cheese comes in packets?

must be another cookie/biscuit thing...
Cheese comes in packets of various kinds, such as wrapped blocks of cheese (sliced or unsliced) like this, or individually wrapped slices like this, or shredded cheese in resealable packets like this.
Old 02-29-2012, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Cheese comes in packets of various kinds, such as wrapped blocks of cheese (sliced or unsliced) like this, or individually wrapped slices like this, or shredded cheese in resealable packets like this.
If you'll look again at the very small and very faint tag line in his post, I think you'll see that he was having a little fun with the word "packet" -- in the U.S., "package" is much more common.
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