Mozzarella questions
January 24, 2012 6:53 PM   Subscribe

It's another edition of AskMe: Can I eat it?

I forgot to put some mozzarella in the fridge after I got home from the grocery store. It's a big ball of cheese sealed in one of those plastic shrink-wrap bag things, not stored in liquid in a plastic tub, or pre-shredded. It stayed out on the counter for about 18 hours, then went into the fridge, where it's been for the past couple of days.

Is it safe to bake on a pizza?
posted by zamboom! to Food & Drink (25 answers total)
Response by poster: Or rather, safe to eat after being baked on said pizza (obviously).
posted by zamboom! at 6:54 PM on January 24, 2012

sounds like a good risk to take.
posted by H. Roark at 6:54 PM on January 24, 2012

Best answer: I used to be a cheesemonger, but I am not your cheesemonger. This is what I would do: eat it.
posted by rtha at 6:56 PM on January 24, 2012 [14 favorites]

Should be fine as long as it smells ok - when fresh mozzarella goes bad it's not a subtle change.
posted by ethand at 6:56 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Assuming the packaging hasn't gotten puffy, sure.
posted by elizeh at 6:56 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'd eat it. I also used to be a cheesemonger.
posted by gauche at 6:57 PM on January 24, 2012

if it's not unusually sticky/slimy, I'd eat it. Actually, I'd likely eat it anyways.
posted by hasna at 7:00 PM on January 24, 2012

i'd eat it and i'm practically phobic of spoilt food
posted by facetious at 7:00 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: says thumbs down for mozzarella that was above 40° F for more than 2 hours. But the government is known to be a bunch of sissies.
posted by XMLicious at 7:03 PM on January 24, 2012 [6 favorites]

Smell it and eat it. Bake it well just in case if you're worried.
posted by wwax at 7:09 PM on January 24, 2012

It's fine. It wasn't fresh mozzarella, was it? Fresh mozzarella will spoil quickly but the smell will be obvious. Regular mozzarella's fine after a day or two out.

(I'm usually on the throw it out ack ack ew! side of these questions, btw.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:12 PM on January 24, 2012

There may be some slight extra acid development (slight more sour flavor) or even some other off flavors develop, but I am on the "it is fine to eat" side. I wouldn't keep it around too long. Eat it within the next couple of days.
posted by catseatcheese at 7:18 PM on January 24, 2012

Wasn't cheese invented as a way to keep milk available as a foodstuff without refrigeration?

(But then I'm so old I remember leaving a cooked turkey out on the counter ALL DAY on Thanksgiving and snacking on the meat and the stuffing far into the night. We must have been significantly tougher -- or all the weak ones died young.)
posted by kestralwing at 7:24 PM on January 24, 2012 [8 favorites]

It's fine. My family takes mozzarella string cheese on camping trips without refrigeration for a couple of days. They get a bit mushy but they taste the same and have never made us sick.
posted by at 7:26 PM on January 24, 2012

It's cheese! Cheese is excellent stored at room temperature.
posted by ssg at 7:31 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Italians won't even put mozzarella (buffalo) in the fridge, but they will eat it in a day or two.
posted by Flashman at 7:47 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Visual test followed by smell test followed by taste test. If all those are passed you are go for pizza.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:10 PM on January 24, 2012

I wouldn't eat it.

I would devour it. On the pizza too.
posted by AugustWest at 8:18 PM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Room temp and stewing in its own juices is fresh mozzarella's natural habitat.

Yes, gives a thumbs down, but the likes of also have a habit of shutting down the United States' traditional Italian latterie when they try to sell house-made mozzarella in the authentic way it's done in Italy (at room temp all day sitting in a salt water bath, in contact with un-gloved human hands).

Basically, unless it was dried out or toughened by sitting out, I'd eat it.
posted by Sara C. at 8:26 PM on January 24, 2012

go forth and hungrily devour that cheese with extreme prejudice
posted by elizardbits at 8:59 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dude, eat it.
posted by FrereKhan at 5:09 AM on January 25, 2012

Oh god this thread is making me so hungry I want to eat that cheese right now.

Which is to say: eat it! Enjoy it!
posted by AmandaA at 7:13 AM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

Did you eat it? Please let us know you are not dead!
posted by rtha at 9:14 AM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I went the sissy route, and did not eat it! I thought about it, though, might have it by myself later. It still looks/smells fine. I just didn't want to be responsible for making my family sick if it was actually bad. Now, me alone - I'm fine with that.
posted by zamboom! at 9:57 AM on January 25, 2012

Totally eat it. I used to take cheese backpacking in the hot West Virginia mountains, where it would sit in my backpack for days. I'm still kicking.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:21 PM on January 26, 2012

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