Signs Fresh Goat Cheese Has Gone Bad, According To An Expert

Goat cheese wheels and basil
Goat cheese wheels and basil - Markgillow/Getty Images

Whether using it as a pizza topping, a leafy green salad crown, or a delicious but unconventional burger fixing, goat cheese has a place in a vast repertoire of recipes. But like any dairy product, goat cheese expires, and it's important to know how to recognize signs of spoilage to prevent the consumption of an old batch, which can cause digestive issues. If you're not clued in on the characteristics of bad goat cheese, Daily Meal spoke with Kathleen Serino, Training and Curriculum Manager at Murray's Cheese, to get the scoop on expired goat cheese.

For starters, you should know just how long goat cheese lasts. Serino says goat cheese stays fresh for "seven days or less," but because cooking oil slows the growth of quality-damaging bacteria, she adds that it lasts "longer if it is in oil."

Goat cheese has a refreshing, tangy smell and firm texture. If you notice rancid, sour smells, slimy textures, or mold, it's time to replace your batch.

Read more: The 15 Best Milk Brands, Ranked

The Not-So-Obvious Sign Of Bad Goat Cheese

Person examining cheese at store
Person examining cheese at store - Jackf/Getty Images

Most foodies can determine if goat cheese has gone sour by relying on their senses. Icky smells and fuzzy surfaces are the obvious signs of expired cheese, but Kathleen Serino says there's more to the story than meets the eye (and nose). If you've ever wondered why food preservation guidelines often suggest storing food in dark places, there's a good reason. The Murray's Cheese expert says, "Light interacts with the fat in the cheese and gives it a stale flavor, almost like cardboard. If a fresh goat cheese tastes bland or faded, well, you know what happened!"

Unlike some mild-tasting cheeses like brie and ricotta, goat cheese has a distinct, present, and frankly, unmistakable flavor. Characterized by a marked tanginess with acidic undertones and delicate whispers of sweetness, the absence of flavor in goat cheese can be detected immediately and should raise red flags. Just because you don't see mold and slime doesn't mean goat cheese hasn't gone bad, especially if you notice a lack of flavor beyond its typical seven-day lifespan.

Proper Goat Cheese Storage

Person putting cheese in fridge
Person putting cheese in fridge - Андрей Клеменков/Getty Images

Although it only lasts up to a week, you can maximize your time with your goat cheese by properly storing it. It should always be stored in a refrigerator set to a temperature of at least 40 F or lower. However, the container in which you store goat cheese also plays a key role in preserving its freshness.

If you purchase goat cheese packaged in a transparent container, consider moving it to a sold-colored airtight container or, at the very least, minimize exposure to bright lights. According to Kathleen Serino, cheese expiry is hastened by light oxidation. She explains, "Goat cheese in clear plastic or clear containers has no barrier to light. When hanging out under direct fluorescent lighting for extended periods, it can spoil!"

Whether you're making a springy arugula, peach, and goat cheese salad or a simple tapas appetizer made from goat cheese and honey, fresh produce is essential for both flavor and food safety. By following some of Serino's goat cheese guidelines and taking a mental inventory of its signs of spoilage and best storage practices, you'll never eat a batch spoiled goat cheese.

Read the original article on Daily Meal