How to know if cheese is spoiled? (5 easy ways)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to know if cheese is spoiled”, discuss the different methods of identifying spoiled cheese and the potential side effects of eating spoiled cheese.

How to know if cheese is spoiled?

When cheese is about to spoil it becomes thicker. Different cheeses spoil in different ways. Unpleasant smell, grainy or chalky texture, and sour taste are the signs of spoiled cheese. If you see mold growth or observe some color changes like greenish, greyish, or any darker colors then this also means that the cheese is spoiled. 

Cheese is a dairy product that is formed by the coagulation of milk. It is derived from milk and comes in many flavors and textures. Cheese is a high content of proteins, fat calcium, and phosphorus. Cheese is more valued as it has a longer shelf life than milk. Cheese is being used worldwide for many different purposes. 

If we eat spoiled cheese it can cause health issues. As mold in spoiled cheese contains bacterial spores that can cause food poisoning. We must avoid eating spoiled cheese. 

Methods to know if cheese is spoiled or not:

When cheese is about to spoil it becomes thicker. Different cheeses spoil in different ways. Few methods make it easy to find out if cheese is edible or it has gone spoil.

Smell, taste, and texture are usually the common methods to know if cheese is spoiled or not.

The smell of cheese:

As we know that cheese is a dairy product so the off smell is a good sign to know if cheese is spoiled or not. Different types of cheese give off different smells depending upon the types of cheese. It gives an unpleasant smell. We must smell the cheese while purchasing it so if the cheese starts to give a different smell it means it is spoiled now. 

The appearance of cheese:

If cheese grows some amount of mold on it then you do not need to worry about it. It is common for the cheese to grow mold on it. Just do not discard it if you notice any mold on it. Sometimes mold is intentionally added to cheese as a part of the ripening process. If you notice molds in any part of cheese then all you need is to cut only that part of cheese with molds instead of throwing all the cheese away. 

But if cheese is all covered with a thick moldy layer then do not risk eating it. It can be dangerous for your health. Being only moldy is not only an indicator of whether cheese is spoiled or not. There are many other apparent signs of spoiled cheese. When cheese shows a faded or dark color it means that it is spoiled and should not be eaten. 

The texture of cheese:

Fresh cheese has firmness as it is semi-soft or semi-hard or hard in texture according to its types. When cheese gets spoiled it changes its texture. Spoiled cheese shows the texture of grainy or chalky texture. This texture usually shows that cheese is spoiled. 

Taste of spoiled cheese:

Taste is one of the good indicators to tell if cheese is spoiled or not. Spoiled cheese tastes sour and unpleasant. It means that the cheese is gone bad. If we want to find out if the cheese is spoiled or not then you need to take only a small piece of cheese and taste it. The plain sour and unpleasant aftertaste is a good sign of spoiled cheese. 

Color of spoiled cheese:

Checking out the color of the cheese is a good identification of spoiled cheese. The basic colors of cheese are off-white, orange, and yellow. It shows the freshness of the cheese. But as the cheese expires or spoils it shows a different color. Spoiled cheese shows moldy greenish, grey, and darker other than its fresh color. A Little moldy spotting appears on the piece of cheese. 

When we are purchasing cheese we should make sure about its semi-hard texture. It should not have cracks on it and it should not be discolored.

Other FAQs about Cheese which you may be interested in.

Can I freeze blue cheese

Where does blue cheese come from?

What type of cheese is string cheese?

Methods to keep cheese safe:

properly storing cheese helps to keep it last longer and prevent it from spoiling early. Cheese needs low temperature to stay fresh. We need to keep it in the freezer to prevent it from spoiling. The room temperature makes it spoil very early. There are chances of fungal spores to get it on cheese and make it moldy. 

If we keep it in the freezer it can stay longer than usual. Its shelf life is increasing. We should also wrap it in a plastic cover to protect it from moldy spores. The shelf life of cheese varies from cheese to cheese. But once the cheese is opened it will stay up to 3 to 4 weeks in the freezer. So we need to be careful about its shelf life as well.

Side effects of eating spoiled cheese:

As cheese is a dairy product it gets spoiled earlier than the other products. We need to be careful in eating spoiled cheese as it can cause health issues like food poisoning because of the bacteria present in mold in spoiled cheese. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.