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Can we eat cheese left out all night and not die?
December 23, 2010 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Another question about can I eat this. When putting away our Christmas Groceries my husband overlooked putting the cheese in the fridge. A container of Parmesan shavings and two hunks of soft goat cheese were left out all night. Should we toss or keep?
posted by bananafish to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Was your house nice and chilly, or do you keep it heated super-warm? If chilly, I would eat.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:21 AM on December 23, 2010


I wouldn't worry about the Parmesan, for sure. Whole Foods market doesn't keep theirs refrigerated. I've left mine out for days with no problem (it did get moldy after a couple of weeks though.)
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 11:22 AM on December 23, 2010


I'd eat the parmesan and toss the goat cheese, but that's just me; I'm not any sort of food safety expert.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:22 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Definitely eat, both the goat and parmesean.
posted by hecho de la basura at 11:23 AM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Parmesan is definitely ok. I personally would also eat the goat cheese. Think about every party you've attended, where the cheese sits out for over 10 hours and folks happily scoop it with crackers even then.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:23 AM on December 23, 2010


I say eat it. No question for the parmesan. Was the goat cheese wrapped tight? If so, and it smells and tastes and looks fine, you're fine (unless you're immunocompromised or pregnant, then you should probably throw it out due to potential for Listeria contamination.)
posted by juliapangolin at 11:24 AM on December 23, 2010


Eat. Especially the parm. It lasts forever.
posted by SLC Mom at 11:25 AM on December 23, 2010


I'd eat them, especially if the goat cheeses were vacuum-packed. And even if they weren't, cheese shops in cheese-knowing cultures like France leave their cheeses out when the shop is open, and people eat them.
posted by rtha at 11:32 AM on December 23, 2010


Eat both. As rtha says, this is a non-issue in many other countries where cheese is never refrigerated.
posted by rmless at 11:47 AM on December 23, 2010


If you're worried about the goat cheese but don't like to waste food, cook with it.

Make a cheesecake or torteau de chevre.

Or bake it. Mmmm.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:54 AM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Cheese will generally let you know when it is done being edible. And even then often it's still edible.
posted by hermitosis at 11:55 AM on December 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


hermitosis: "Cheese will generally let you know when it is done being edible."

Soft goat cheese especially smells wretched once it's spoiled. If you can sniff it without wanting to gag, it's good to eat!
posted by cranberrymonger at 12:08 PM on December 23, 2010


nthing both. cheese has been delicious long before refridgeration! and i'm betting the stuff was still store wrapped, and that your kitchen is not overrun with plague ridden plastic chewin vermin and bacteria laden bugs. & ya, if the goat cheese still skeeves you out cook it!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 12:09 PM on December 23, 2010


Eat.
posted by trip and a half at 12:09 PM on December 23, 2010


Eat!!
posted by foodgeek at 12:20 PM on December 23, 2010


The whole point of cheese is to turn milk into something that is shelf-stable for weeks/months/years.

The parmesan is certainly going to be good, no matter what. I'd cook with the goat, because I am very prone to food poisoning so I would worry about that if it had been left out, but I am hyperconscious of that--my husband would probably just eat it and suffer no ill consequences.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:22 PM on December 23, 2010


I'd eat it.
posted by pemberkins at 12:29 PM on December 23, 2010


I takes a lot for cheese to go bad, and, as noted upthread, it will let you know when it has.

I'd go ahead and eat it.
posted by brand-gnu at 12:37 PM on December 23, 2010


Are you serious? Eat them both, of course!
posted by turkeyphant at 12:47 PM on December 23, 2010


You can more or less safely eat cheese even when it's riddled with live insect larvae. Worrying about one night out of the fridge is really not necessary.
posted by dhoe at 12:53 PM on December 23, 2010


The whole point of cheese is diary that doesn't need to be in the fridge.

The only reason I put cheese in the fridge is to keep the pets from stealing.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 1:28 PM on December 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


The only possibility for either one of those cheeses, IMAO, is that they will taste even more goddamn delicious for being at room temp.
posted by elizardbits at 1:35 PM on December 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


Definitely eat them. Cheese are basically bacteria. The cheese bacteria will fight off other bacteria, just because they are already so numerous.
posted by lollusc at 3:09 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most places in the world don't refrigerate cheese at all. When I lived in France, some people considered it particularly gauche to chill cheese at all.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:44 PM on December 23, 2010


And people also died of food poisoning all the time. The parmesan is fine, the goat cheese probably is fine, but you never know.

IF it has gone bad, cooking won't necessarily make it all better. Some bacteria make toxins, which aren't always rendered harmless by cooking.
posted by gjc at 5:44 AM on December 24, 2010


Dude, it's cheese. It has effectively already gone bad; that's how it became cheese. My pops sells cheese for a living; unless it has visible mold, you're fine. I assure you it will not have visible mold after one night on the counter. Even it did, you could cut the mold off and still eat it.
posted by Diablevert at 6:13 AM on December 24, 2010


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