We’ve all been there before - you open the fridge, looking for a midnight snack. You see some cheese sitting in its little crisper drawer, beckoning you with its delicious scent. But wait...is that mold? Uh oh. As much as we love cheese and would do anything for it (okay maybe not anything), eating moldy cheese might not be the best idea.
Here's what happens if you decide to take your chances and go ahead with that moldy slice of cheddar:
The Good News
Before we scare ourselves silly about this icky subject, let’s first clarify something important: not all molds are dangerous or toxic. Some types of cheeses even rely on specific strains of microorganisms to create earth-shatteringly good flavors (cue drool-filled mouth noises).
For instance, blue cheese has veins of Penicillium roqueforti running through it, which add an irresistible tanginess and pungent aroma. Other cheeses like Brie and Camembert have a soft white rind- also made from special bacteria- giving their distinctive tastes.
In other words, some types of “mold” on cheese are actually desirable organisms used intentionally by dairy producers.
On top when manufacturing production is higher than demand; farmers may end up feeding extra milk to pigs but introducing penicillin mould changes the preservation time frame hence making use out surplus milk supply – making way for a lot blue-cheese-production-time.
But just because certain molds look similar doesn’t mean they’re safe for consumption. In general though - trust that cheesemakers know more about domestic fungi than our untrained taste-buds ever will.
Aspergillus: Not only seen in stale bread but also sometimes found lurking in aged hard cheeses too.it has been linked lung inflammation thus people with preexisting respiratory problems are greatly advised not to eat these kinds of cheese at all cost.
Penicillium Marneffei: Although one of the species typically used in cheese production, a recent study showed this fungus as being harmful due to it's potential risk of becoming toxic overtime. It progresses uncontrollably causing an immunity gap but is uncommon in well controlled dairy plants.
The symptoms you might experience after eating moldy cheese could range from mild stomach upset to life-threatening conditions. Inhalation or ingestion of fungi can even cause fungal infections that require medical treatment (okay I've gone and scared myself silly again...).
Some common symptoms associated with consuming unsafe molds include:
- Stomach cramps
If you think you’ve ingested moldy cheese and start experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately. They’ll be able to guide you on next steps for potential antifungal prescriptions.
Of course if your reaction is very severe go ahead check into your local emergency room or call local emergency services .(after USING THE PHONE FIRST TO CALL AND NOT GOING straight)
For most people who ingest small amounts –no matter whatever kind-, Mild discomfort should subside within a few hours.
Antihistamines may be prescribed along with medications like cough syrup which would help curb breathing difficulties as allergies trigger various complications such asthma attacks.
When deciding whether or not an aged cut-from-the block-slice-for-late-night-snack-time still looks good enough:
1 A pungent smell isn't necessarily bad - it just depends on how strong a whiff hits during inhaling. 2 Look out for visible particles/fuzz - apart from furry and cotten-like parts when do appears we have seen signs “at a later time”. Also use a very good quality of your refrigerator and store products correctly.
As the old adage goes “Prevention is better than cure,” so living by this principle and making sure you check expiration dates are validly highlighted on where packaging material therefore knowing exactly how long said item will keep fresh at room temperature – avoiding incidents of dangerously consuming what has expired._
That's our public service announcement folks. Moldy cheese may seem delicious but it's not worth the risk to your health. As with anything, moderation is key (or just have separate "cheese" fridge....we can dream).
Stay safely cheesy!