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How to Tell if Blue Cheese is Bad

If you’re like me, you probably have a love-hate relationship with blue cheese. You either love it or you hate it. There’s no in-between when it comes to this controversial cheese!

But whether you love it or hate it, there’s one thing we can all agree on no one likes bad blue cheese.

This post will go over everything you need to know in order to know how to tell if blue cheese is bad or not.

How to tell if blue cheese is bad


If blue cheese is bad, it will have an off-putting odor. The color will also be duller than usual and the texture may be slimy. If you see any mold on the surface of the blue cheese, it is best to discard it.

Cut wedge of blue cheese on a cutting board.

Blue cheese is a type of cheese that has a blue-green mold on the surface. This mold is harmless and gives the cheese its distinct flavor.

However, if the blue cheese is old or has been improperly stored, the mold can become harmful. Here is how to tell if blue cheese is bad.

How it looks

When blue cheese has gone bad it will begin to show visible signs of spoilage. Pay close attention to the creamy part of the cheese and look for any hints of pink, green, or brown – if so it has gone bad and should be discarded.

Additionally, any sliminess or fuzzy areas indicate mold and the cheese should be discarded as well.

How it feels

As one examines the blue cheese, it’s speckled with hues of green and blue, and it has a pungent smell, enough to make your nose twitch which can make it difficult to determine if it has spoiled or not.

If the surface of the cheese is fuzzy and slimy to the touch then it has gone bad and is no longer fit for consumption.

How it smells

A great way to tell if blue cheese is bad is by smelling it. It can be difficult to tell if blue cheese has gone bad, as the smell of blue cheese is already intense.

Generally, if the odor of the blue cheese intensifies and becomes much stronger than what is typical for blue cheese, it is time to discard it.

Blue cheese that has gone bad will have a musty or moldy odor to it, and may also smell like ammonia.

I also have a post that will help you know how to tell when goat cheese has gone bad, how to tell if cottage cheese is bad, and also one that answers the common question of, how long does feta cheese last?

What should I do if I think my blue cheese has gone bad?

If you think your blue cheese has gone bad, there are a few steps you can take to determine if it is still safe to consume.

  1. Check the expiration date. If the cheese has passed the expiration date, it is not safe to eat and should be thrown out.
  2. Look at the color of the creamy part of the cheese. If there are any hints of pink, green, or brown, the cheese has gone bad and should be discarded.
  3. Check the texture. If the cheese has any sliminess or fuzzy areas, it is likely moldy and should be thrown out.
  4. Smell the cheese. If the cheese smells like ammonia, it is no longer safe to eat and should be discarded.
  5. Taste the cheese. If the cheese has an overly strong or salty flavor, or if it tastes off, then it should be thrown out.

If you are unsure, it is best to discard the cheese and buy a new container. Eating spoiled blue cheese can cause food poisoning and other illnesses, so it’s important to be cautious.

What is blue cheese?

Blue cheese is a type of hard cheese made from cow’s milk. It is known for its distinct flavor and blue veins of mold throughout the cheese.

The process of making blue cheese begins with the addition of bacterial cultures to the curd before it is pressed into molds, allowing the mold to grow uniformly throughout the cheese.

The blue veins are created from cultures of the mold Penicillium, which is what gives the cheese its distinctive blue or green veins. The combination of high moisture and mold makes the cheese crumbly and gives it a strong flavor.

Some people think that blue cheese is just moldy cheese but that is not the case exactly. It can become mold infected if not stored properly. This is why it is important to keep blue cheese in a cool, dry place.

Blue cheese is a great addition to any salad, try my healthy garden salad recipe and add on some fresh blue cheese to add more flavor!

Another cheese that is similar is brie cheese, find out how to tell if brie cheese is bad.

Does blue cheese need to be refrigerated?

Yes, blue cheese should always be kept in the refrigerator. The bacteria that causes blue cheese to go bad will grow even faster at room temperature.

If it is not stored properly in the refrigerator, it will spoil much quicker and could result in discolored spots and mold growth. Therefore, it is important to keep blue cheese refrigerated to preserve its flavor and texture.

How long does blue cheese last in the fridge?

When stored properly blue cheese can last a few weeks in the refrigerator. The shelf life is extended if it is tightly wrapped in wax or parchment and placed in an airtight container.

Additionally, the cheese should be kept in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator and the wrapping paper should be changed when it starts to look “sweaty.”

It is best to use the printed expiration date on the label as a general guideline, but the cheese can usually be consumed within one or two weeks after that date.

What are some of the health risks associated with eating bad blue cheese?

Some of the health risks associated with eating bad blue cheese are as follows:

  1. Risk of becoming ill from the mold, as well as ingesting harmful bacteria such as listeria, brucella, salmonella, and E. coli, which can cause food poisoning.
  2. Symptoms of eating bad blue cheese can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, fever, and muscle cramps.
  3. Risk of the cheese becoming contaminated with toxic mold, causing chemicals or food poisoning.
  4. Mycotoxins can be produced from some molds, which can upset the immune system and cause digestive stress.
  5. Eating expired blue cheese can be dangerous and can even cause cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Tell If Blue Cheese Is Bad

Bad blue cheese has an intensifying smell that is far more intense than the typical odor of blue cheese. It will have an ammonia-like smell. It may also have a musty smell or have small patches of grey or black mold.

Bad blue cheese that has gone bad typically has a slimy or fuzzy texture and may have patches of grey or black mold on the surface. It can also have a pink, green, brown, or yellow hue in the creamy part of the cheese, rather than its usual white or creamy color.

Mold and blue cheese veins are both caused by the mold Penicillium, but the difference between them lies in their appearance and how they are created.

Mold is a visible green or blue discoloration on the surface of the cheese, while blue cheese veins are created when the mold is introduced to the interior of the cheese and then continues to spread and form the veins within it.


Blue cheese is a delicious and versatile food, but like all foods, it can be spoiled quickly. In this guide, we teach you how to tell if blue cheese is bad and what to do if it isn’t fresh.

By following these tips, you’ll avoid eating expired or unsafe blue cheese—which could cause gastrointestinal issues or even infection.

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