Blue cheese crumbles are a delicious addition to salads, burgers, and even as a topping for pizza. But how long can you keep them in the fridge before they go bad? And what about freezing them?
In this article, we’ll explore the shelf life of blue cheese crumbles and answer the question on everyone’s mind: do blue cheese crumbles go bad?
Whether you’re a cheese lover or just looking to add some flavor to your meals, read on to learn more about how to properly store and use blue cheese crumbles.
Do Blue Cheese Crumbles Go Bad?
The short answer is yes, blue cheese crumbles can go bad. Like any other food item, blue cheese crumbles have a limited shelf life and can spoil if not stored properly.
Once you open a package of blue cheese crumbles, it’s important to consume or freeze them within the time shown for refrigeration, even if the “Best By,” “Best if Used By,” or “Use By” date has not yet been reached. Properly stored, an opened package of blue cheese crumbles will last for about 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator.
It’s also important to note that bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F. Therefore, blue cheese crumbles should be discarded if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
To further extend the shelf life of opened blue cheese crumbles, you can freeze them. When freezing, place blue cheese crumbles in the freezer before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has elapsed. Frozen blue cheese may lose some of its texture and flavor, but it will still be safe to consume.
What Are Blue Cheese Crumbles?
Blue cheese crumbles are small pieces of blue cheese that have been broken off from a larger block or wedge. Blue cheese is a type of cheese that is characterized by its blue or green veins, which are created by the addition of mold cultures during the cheese-making process. The mold cultures used in blue cheese are typically Penicillium roqueforti or Penicillium glaucum.
Blue cheese crumbles are a popular ingredient in salads, dips, and sauces, as well as a topping for burgers and other dishes. They are often sold in plastic containers or bags and can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.
Like any other type of blue cheese, blue cheese crumbles have a limited shelf life and can go bad if not stored properly. It’s important to keep them refrigerated at all times and to consume or freeze them within the recommended time frame. Proper storage and hygiene is key to making sure blue cheese crumbles do not go bad. Be sure to wrap the cheese in wax paper and place it in an air-tight container large enough to allow the cheese to breathe. Keeping the cheese in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator and changing the paper whenever it begins to look “sweaty” can help extend its shelf life. Additionally, any mold that happens to form on blue cheese should be scraped and thrown away as it can cause food poisoning if consumed.
How Long Can You Keep Blue Cheese Crumbles In The Fridge?
When it comes to refrigeration, blue cheese crumbles can last for about 5 to 7 days after opening, as long as they are stored properly. To maximize the shelf life of blue cheese crumbles after opening, make sure to keep the package tightly sealed. This will prevent air and moisture from getting in, which can cause the cheese to spoil faster.
It’s important to note that the exact answer to how long an opened package of blue cheese crumbles lasts in the fridge depends on storage conditions. To ensure that your blue cheese crumbles remain fresh for as long as possible, keep them refrigerated at all times. Store them in the coldest part of your fridge, which is usually the back of the bottom shelf.
If you notice any signs of spoilage, such as mold or an off odor or flavor, discard the blue cheese crumbles immediately. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to food safety. Additionally, if you have any doubts about the freshness of your blue cheese crumbles, it’s best to throw them out and buy a new package.
Signs That Blue Cheese Crumbles Have Gone Bad
While blue cheese crumbles may have a relatively short shelf life, it’s important to know how to tell when they have gone bad. Here are some signs that your blue cheese crumbles may have spoiled:
1. Off odor: If your blue cheese crumbles develop an off odor, it’s a sign that they have gone bad. The smell may be sour, rancid, or just unpleasant.
2. Mold: While mold is a natural part of blue cheese, if you notice any mold on your blue cheese crumbles that looks different from the intended blue mold, it’s a sign that the cheese has gone bad. Mold can appear as fuzzy white, green, pink, or grey spots.
3. Altered color: Normally, blue cheese crumbles have a creamy white color. If you notice any pink, green, brown, or yellow discoloration on your blue cheese crumbles, it’s time to throw them out.
4. Dry or crumbly texture: Blue cheese crumbles should be moist and slightly crumbly. If they become excessively dry or crumbly or develop an uneven color, they may have gone bad.
5. Strong ammonia-like smell: While blue cheese has a distinct smell, if the odor becomes much stronger than when you first bought it or smells stale, it’s a sign that the cheese has gone bad.
Can You Freeze Blue Cheese Crumbles?
Yes, you can freeze blue cheese crumbles. However, like with any other food item, freezing blue cheese crumbles comes with some constraints. Freezing changes the texture and flavor of the cheese, making it less creamy and crumbly. Therefore, it’s best to use defrosted blue cheese crumbles in cooked dishes, such as soups, sauces, and casseroles. Avoid using thawed blue cheese crumbles in salads or cheese platters, as they might not look or taste as good.
Before freezing blue cheese crumbles, make sure to check their “Best By” or “Use By” date. Blue cheese crumbles can last up to 7 days in the fridge once opened, so freezing might not be necessary if you plan to use them within that time frame. If you do decide to freeze blue cheese crumbles, tightly seal the original packaging and place it in the freezer. If you plan to freeze them for longer than 2 months, transfer them to a heavy-duty freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
Properly stored, frozen blue cheese crumbles will maintain their quality for about 8 months. However, it’s important to note that the freezer time shown is for best quality only – blue cheese crumbles that have been kept constantly frozen at 0°F will keep safe indefinitely.
When thawing frozen blue cheese crumbles, take them out of the freezer and place them in the fridge overnight. Avoid thawing blue cheese crumbles at room temperature or in the microwave, as this can cause them to become mushy and unappetizing.
Tips For Properly Storing Blue Cheese Crumbles
Proper storage is key to keeping your blue cheese crumbles fresh and safe to eat. Here are some tips for storing blue cheese crumbles:
1. Keep blue cheese crumbles refrigerated at all times. This will help slow down the growth of bacteria and prevent spoilage.
2. Once you open the package, keep it tightly sealed to prevent air from getting in. This will help maintain the freshness of the blue cheese crumbles.
3. Store blue cheese crumbles in the coldest part of your refrigerator, which is usually the back of the bottom shelf. This will help keep the temperature consistent and prevent fluctuations that can cause spoilage.
4. If you have leftover blue cheese crumbles that you won’t be able to finish within a few days, consider freezing them. Place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 8 months.
5. When thawing frozen blue cheese crumbles, do so slowly in the refrigerator overnight. This will help prevent texture and flavor loss.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your blue cheese crumbles stay fresh and safe to eat for as long as possible.
Creative Ways To Use Blue Cheese Crumbles In Your Meals.
Blue cheese is a versatile cheese that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some creative ways to use blue cheese crumbles in your meals:
1. Add to Salads: Blue cheese crumbles are the perfect addition to any salad. The creamy and tangy flavor pairs well with fresh, crispy lettuce. You can also add some nuts and fruits to your salad for added crunch and sweetness.
2. Melt on Top of Burgers: One of the most popular ways to enjoy blue cheese is to melt it on top of a burger. The crumbled blue cheese adds a bold flavor to the burger and pairs well with other toppings like bacon and caramelized onions.
3. Make a Dip: Blue cheese dip is a classic party favorite. You can make a simple dip by mixing blue cheese crumbles with sour cream or cream cheese. Add some herbs and spices for extra flavor.
4. Use in Pasta Dishes: Blue cheese crumbles can add a unique twist to your favorite pasta dishes. Toss some crumbled blue cheese with pasta, olive oil, and garlic for a quick and easy meal.
5. Top Your Pizza: Blue cheese crumbles can be used as a pizza topping instead of traditional mozzarella cheese. The bold flavor of the blue cheese pairs well with toppings like arugula, prosciutto, and figs.
6. Stuff Chicken Breasts: Make a pocket in chicken breasts and stuff them with blue cheese crumbles and herbs. Bake or grill the chicken for a delicious and flavorful meal.