Can you get sick from eating bad cheese?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating bad cheese” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating bad cheese. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot bad cheese.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating bad cheese?

Bad cheese can have Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli, and Brucella present in it and if you consume such cheese then it can cause many foodborne illnesses especially food poisoning which is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. 

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered it. So consumption of bad cheese often causes diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming cheese that is bacteria-laden is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain and cramps may likewise take place in the wake of devouring expired cheese.
  1. If you have consumed cheese that has microbial growth in it then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.
  1. Consuming bad cheese can also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can result in electrolyte imbalance in the body as well as it can lead to severe dehydration, dizziness, flushed skin, and weakness. 

Therefore you should immediately take medical help and try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration that vomiting can otherwise result in.

Moreover, the consumption of moldy cheese can also cause some respiratory issues or allergic reactions. Moreover, molds can produce mycotoxins which if entering the body can disrupt the natural microflora, thereby weakening the immune system.

It is worth mentioning here that in some types of cheese, molds are intentionally added for ripening purposes and it is safe to eat such cheese. For instance in Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton, Penicillium Roqueforti is intentionally added that gives that tasty blue veins in these types of cheese.

Different ways to spot bad cheese

Certain indicators point out bad cheese. You should consider the appearance, smell, color, texture, and taste of your cheese along with the condition of the packaging of cheese to reach a final verdict whether or not it has gone bad. 

Appearance

If you see some mold, especially some grey-green mold on the cheese then it is an indication of bad cheese. 

  1. In the case of the grated cheese, if you spot a mold in it, you should discard the whole package.
  1. When it comes to the cheese block then in the case of soft cheese like feta, ricotta, etc. you should discard the whole cheese if you spot mold or other organic growth on it because the mold can penetrate inside the cheese real quick.
  1. In the case of hard cheese like parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese, if you spot a mold on the surface of cheese then what you can do is to cut out the cheese at least 1 inch around and below the mold and discard it. Care should be taken while cutting out the mold and the knife should never touch the mold.

Color

If you see that the color of cheese has darkened, it is the indication that your cheese has gone bad and it is better to discard it.

Texture 

If you notice that the edges of the cheese have hardened or that the cheese has become flaky, then it is the indication that your cheese is past its prime time. 

Smell

If you notice some off-smell (sour milk-like smell, yeast-like smell, or ammonia-like smell) or something that does not quite smell like cheese itself, then it means that your cheese has gone bad and you should discard it.

Condition of packaging

If you notice that the packaging of your cheese has bulged or swollen then it is better not to eat this cheese.

Taste

If your cheese has passed all the other sensory evaluations then you can go ahead and taste a bit of cheese. If the cheese has a sour milk-like taste associated with it then it means that your cheese has gone bad and it is better to get rid of such cheese.

Tips to store cheese properly

  1. Cheese should be stored wrapped in parchment or wax paper in an air-tight container or a plastic zipper bag. 
  1. Cheese should be refrigerated properly at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. It is recommended to store cheese on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge that can mess up the quality of cheese.
  1. In the case of hard cheese like parmesan cheese you can store it in the freezer to prolong its shelf life while in the case of soft cheese like camembert or feta it is not recommended to freeze them.

Other FAQs about Cheese that you may be interested in.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating bad cheese” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating bad cheese. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot bad cheese.

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/moldy-cheese#dangers

https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/a20457021/how-bad-is-it-to-eat-cheese-with-mold-on-it/

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/accidentally-ate-moldy-cheese-best-184500082.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/food-and-nutrition/faq-20058492

https://www.eatright.org/homefoodsafety/safety-tips/food/how-to-determine-if-cheese-is-safe