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Jul 12, 2012 12:36 AM

Unrefrigerated Cheeses Left Out for a Week or so?

My parents sent me a gift for my birthday and forgot to mention that perhaps I should open it immediately.

I open it today and discover it is a collection of British cheeses Including:

1. Linconshire Cheddar (cut and vacuum sealed) (unpasteurised milk)
2. British Blue Stilton (cut and in a similar bag but doesn't seem to be vacuum sealed)
3. a small semi-soft cheese medallion / round - triple cream white mould (loosely wrapped in plastic) uncut. (unpasteurised milk)
4. a wedge of a semi-hard goats cheese / goats cheddar (cut in a similar vacuum sealed plastic wrap)
5. a chunk of butter

So its been in the box in the living room for about a week. at room temperature here in London. The weather hasn't been too warm here and we haven't had the heat on at all. So i'd say its been sitting at 19-20C for a week. Are the cheeses going to be ok?

- The butter has a few spots of black mould on it - so I think its a lost cause.
- The stilton seems to have been sweating a bit. Should I open it and repack it?
- the semi-soft medallion I think will be OK if we eat it ASAP. its looking very "ripe". So will probably be quite good and not be a problem.
- The linconshire cheddar doesn't seem to have sweated much. Should I open the vacuum pack and put it in paper in the fridge?

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  1. The harder cheese should be ok to eat; use them in cooked recipes.

    The softer/fresher cheeses, I would throw away; same thing for the butter.

    1. Once when I was visiting friends in Paris we went to the supermarche and bought wine and cheese. I automatically went to put the cheese in the fridge when we got back. My friend immediately took the cheese out and said that cheese was a living thing and that by refridgerating it you sort of kill it. Now that's definitely true for soft cheese such as camembert. For hard cheeses I think they should be in the fridge. Don't worry too much about that blue cheese or the soft cheeses but the rest I'd personally chuck out.

      1. NO, NO!!! don't get rid of any of the cheese! It'll be great! Cheddar lasts basically 'forever'. cheese was around long before refrigeration! The semi-soft could probably do with eating now as it'll get unmanageable but will still be delicious.

        (I probably would get rid of the butter as it's a different thing altogether and sounds as if it is now a bit yucky.)

        1. I would certainly eat all of them!
          Depending on the amount of black spots on the butter, I would just cut that off and do a taste test on the rest. If it tastes fine, I would eat it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RUK

            I agree with RUK here - I know lots of people who never refrigerate their butter. Are you sure the black spots are mold? You may have received a gift of truffle butter or something like that. I would definitely taste test before tossing!

          2. Chuck the butter, eat the cheese.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pikawicca

              +1 on the butter.

              Cheese is a way of preserving milk - from centuries before fridges were invented. It'll be absolutely fine