? Too bad. Just throw it out.
Next time, you might want to consider the following cheese maintenance and storage guidelines.
How you should store any particular cheese depends on the moisture content. Fresh and soft ripened cheeses have a high moisture content and are, therefore, more susceptible to spoilage. Ideally, they should be used in about two week's time whereas hard cheeses with a low moisture content can last for several weeks.
Wrap cheese tight in a wrapping, such as plastic or foil, that will form a moisture barrier. This will prevent it from drying out and becoming rubbery and nasty. Airtight wrapping will also slow mold growth due to the fact that mold spores are airborne. Changing the wrap frequently will also slow the formation of random molds. In the case of quark, ricotta, or cottage cheese, storing the container upside down will help slow oxidation, thus prolonging their life. Strange but true.
When mold forms on ripened cheeses, you only need to cut off the mold plus a little extra (about 1/2 inch) to get the roots. The remainder is generally safe to eat, but keep in mind that the mold growth is a sign that the cheese is about to become nasty and should be used up within a week.
mold growth is part of the aging process on ripened cheeses. But this is done by experts and should not be attempted by amateurs at home. Roquefort for example is moldy and smelly and good. Velveeta with a blue fuzz is just nasty. You have to know what you are doing.
Unripened cheeses such as cottage cheese, ricotta and cream cheese, do not age and mold growth is a sign of spoilage. Discard these immediately at the first sign of mold. Don't even think about scraping that stuff off and eating the rest.
mold-ripened cheese such as gorgonzola, stilton and roquefort are susceptible to a type of mold which produces a harmful toxin and should be discarded immediately if a different colour or type of mold is evident. The best rule of thumb is to discard any cheese if in doubt.
What You Can Do To Prevent Nastiness In Your Cheese
Cheese should be stored between 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit. A refrigerator cheese compartment would normally reflect this temperature range. But regardless of where you choose to store it, make sure the temperature is also consistent and keep in mind that cheese is porous and will absorb strong odours from other foods. If you are storing a food with a strong odor such as onions, keep it apart from the cheese. It is also good to keep your cheese collection in a plastic box with a snap-shut lid inside the refrigerator.
Can Cheese Be Frozen?
A question asked suprisingly often is "Can cheese be frozen?" Perhaps no one has asked you this yet. But they will, some day. So here is what you can tell them. Look into their confused eyes with confidence, reassuring them with your tone of voice and manner and thus transmitting your confidence to them. The answer is "Yes, but...."
Freezing cheese will change the texture. Hard cheese tends to get crumbly and soft cheeses separate. Nasty. For this reason, it is best to use frozen cheese for cooking only. Freezing soft cheeses is best avoided altogether, if possible. Cream cheese, for example, gets both watery and grainy in texture.
Very firm cheeses can be frozen for about six months but most cheese is better not left longer than 8 weeks.
Freeze cheese in 1 to 1-1/2 pound pieces. Larger pieces take too long to freeze which increases their tendency to be very crumbly when thawed.
Thaw cheese slowly in the refrigerator, preferably for 24 hours or longer.
Wrap cheese tightly in foil or thick plastic before freezing. By double wrapping and making it as airtight as possible, you will help prevent moisture loss which is the main contributor to the change in texture.