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Sep 3, 2012 04:37 PM

Will my cheese kill me?

The following is just a hypothetical situation...

But if I were to have bought cheese (a soft goat, and a Brie) from a market in Montreal 3 days ago (Fri)
Put it in my bag for 8 hours in 74F heat
Then put on top of the air conditioning unit at a hotel overnight
Then put in refrigerator next morning once realizing we had a refrigerator
Then sat in said refrigerator for 2.5 days
Then removed upon checking out of hotel at 4pm today (Mon)
Then sat in hotel lobby and then airport and flight and not returned to a refrigerator until probably about 10pm (estimated)

Can I still eat it after this? I have no idea if pasteurized but am assuming not b/c the hypothetical cheese would have been purchased in Montreal.

Thoughts?? I really want to eat it.

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  1. Cheese is essentially preserved milk; about the only way it can go bad is if it's infected with a bad kind of mold (red or orange = bad, blue or green = okay). Assuming that this hypothetical cheese were to have its presumed wrappings intact, and not to have been stepped on my any theoretical foot, then its effect on any supposed consumer would depend entirely on that imaginary person's lactose tolerance. In other words, look at it, and if it just looks like cheese it's okay. Lots of serious cheese-heads keep theirs under cover at room temperature anyway.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      Here is a good one for you:
      Many many years ago as pretty much still newlyweds we moved into our first apartment. I should mention that it was Winter and the baseboard heater in the kitchen was on. I noticed a strange smell which got worse during the next few days, actually it started to downright stink in that small kitchen. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from, husband was quiet/not very helpful in this matter....
      A Saturday morning cleaning revealed the culprit - husband had placed a Limburger cheese on the baseboard heater to speed up ripening of the cheese. And let me tell you, it was now ripe. He ate it happily as it was now perfect! I remember tasting it, it was a tad overripe but certainly still very much edible.
      So, what was your question? :-)

      sorry Will Owen, I meant to answer the OP

      1. re: RUK

        RUK...and you stayed married to that stinky breathed man? :)))

        1. re: iL Divo

          What can I say - inexperience of youth? :-)

      2. re: Will Owen

        I agree, with the caveat that numerous washed ripened cheeses (Epoisses et al) are red/orange from the get-go. Place trust in your nose. If fish stinks, toss it. If cheese stinks, please call me!!!
        I crave rotten cheese.

        1. re: Will Owen

          my crazy sister has all her life been of the mind set that sometimes you have to let cheese go blue simply on the off chance that if you got a sore throat you'd have 'it' to suck on. she always made her daughters suck- meld away in their mouths-swallow. she swears blue-green on cheese is natures healer...I think she's bats.

          1. re: iL Divo

            Well, the critters that make cheese are sort of related to penicillin....

            That's going a bit far for me, though.

        2. I have had same (hypothetical) thing happen around this household.
          I rinse with cold water- probably a dumb idea- run my clean hands over it to feel- what 'am' I feeling for?-gave a good sniff to all parts-decided it was not slimy or otherwise smelly and ate.

          1. Cheese was invented to preserve milk. If it's not growing mold (don't forget that there are good molds - the ones used in cheese making!) it's probably OK. If it's been at room temperature for a day, a fatty cheese can throw off some liquid. If I were worried I'd cut the edges off first.

            BTW, ziploc bags are great for keeping food while traveling: you can put your food in one, and ice in another, and create a mini-fridge for your hotel room if you don't have one.