Why does cheese mold in the refrigerator?

Why does cheese mold in the refrigerator?


Cheese is a beloved food enjoyed by many around the world. However, it is not uncommon to find mold growing on cheese when stored in the refrigerator. This raises the question: why does cheese mold in the refrigerator? In this article, we will explore the factors that contribute to cheese molding in the refrigerator and how to prevent it.

The Role of Moisture

Moisture content: One of the primary reasons cheese molds in the refrigerator is due to its moisture content. Cheese contains water, and when stored in a moist environment, it creates an ideal breeding ground for mold. The refrigerator, while designed to keep food fresh, can still have pockets of moisture that promote mold growth.

Condensation: Another factor contributing to cheese molding in the refrigerator is condensation. When warm air enters the refrigerator and comes into contact with the colder surfaces, it can lead to condensation. This moisture can settle on the cheese, providing the necessary conditions for mold to grow.

Air Circulation and Contamination

Air circulation: Proper air circulation is crucial in preventing cheese from molding in the refrigerator. If the cheese is tightly wrapped or stored in an airtight container, it can create a stagnant environment that promotes mold growth. It is important to allow air to circulate around the cheese to prevent moisture buildup.

Contamination: Mold spores are present in the air and can easily contaminate cheese. If other food items in the refrigerator are already moldy, the spores can spread to the cheese and initiate mold growth. Additionally, improper handling and storage practices can introduce mold spores to the cheese, increasing the likelihood of mold development.

Types of Cheese and Mold

Soft and high-moisture cheeses: Soft cheeses, such as Brie or Camembert, have a higher moisture content and are more prone to mold growth. These cheeses have a delicate rind that provides an ideal environment for mold to thrive. Storing these cheeses in the refrigerator can accelerate mold growth due to the moisture and temperature conditions.

Hard and aged cheeses: Hard and aged cheeses, like Cheddar or Parmesan, have a lower moisture content and are less likely to mold quickly. However, if not stored properly, they can still develop mold. The moisture and temperature conditions in the refrigerator can contribute to the growth of mold on these cheeses as well.

Preventing Cheese Mold in the Refrigerator

Proper storage: To prevent cheese from molding in the refrigerator, it is essential to store it properly. Cheese should be wrapped in wax paper or cheese paper, allowing it to breathe while protecting it from excess moisture. Avoid using plastic wrap, as it can trap moisture and promote mold growth.

Regular inspection: Regularly inspecting the cheese in the refrigerator can help identify any signs of mold early on. If mold is detected, it is important to discard the affected portion and ensure that the remaining cheese is not contaminated.

Temperature control: Maintaining a consistent refrigerator temperature can help prevent mold growth on cheese. The ideal temperature for cheese storage is between 35-45°F (1-7°C). Fluctuations in temperature can create condensation and promote mold growth.


In conclusion, cheese molds in the refrigerator due to factors such as moisture, condensation, air circulation, and contamination. Soft and high-moisture cheeses are particularly susceptible to mold growth. However, by following proper storage practices, regularly inspecting the cheese, and maintaining a consistent refrigerator temperature, it is possible to prevent cheese from molding. Enjoy your cheese while keeping it fresh and mold-free!


– cheese.com
– foodnetwork.com
– thespruceeats.com