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How Long Can Brie Be Left Out

How Long Can Brie Be Left Out? Expert Guide to Cheese Safety

Last Updated on February 18, 2024 by Shari Mason

My gatherings and dinner parties always feature Brie, a soft, creamy cheese. But what’s the duration brie can remain unrefrigerated?

Let’s explore the recommended time limits and best practices to ensure your brie remains delicious and safe to consume.

How Long Can Brie Be At Room Temperature?

Brie Cheese on a Wooden Board

Brie cheese [1] can be left at room temperature for not more than 2 hours. Beyond this time, the risk of bacterial growth increases, which could compromise its safety. 

“Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.”

– Billie Burke, American Actress

If you’re planning to serve brie, it’s recommended to time its display accordingly and return any uneaten portions to the refrigerator promptly after serving.

Also Read:

How Long Will It Stay In The Fridge? 

When stored correctly in the refrigerator, a wheel or wedge of brie cheese can last up to one to two weeks. 

To ensure freshness, it’s essential to keep it wrapped tightly in its original packaging or wax paper and then place it in an airtight container. 

Check the cheese periodically for any off-odors or mold, as these are indicators that the brie is past its prime and should be discarded.

Can You Freeze Brie?

Yes, you can freeze brie cheese. However, doing so may alter its texture, making it slightly more crumbly once thawed. 

If you choose to freeze brie, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. 

This method helps protect the cheese from freezer burn. When ready to eat, allow the brie to thaw slowly in the refrigerator to preserve its creamy consistency.

How To Tell If It Has Gone Bad?

Top View of a Hand Holding Brie
  1. Odor: Fresh brie has a mild, earthy aroma. A strong, unpleasant, or sour smell indicates it has gone off.
  2. Texture: While brie is naturally soft, it’s likely past its prime if it feels overly slimy or gooey.
  3. Mold Growth: While brie has an edible white mold rind, the appearance of other colored molds (like blue, green, or black) on its surface means it’s time to toss it.
  4. Discoloration: Any off-color or dark spots on the brie that aren’t part of its natural rind can indicate spoilage.
  5. Taste: A small taste can be the final determinant if you still need to check the above. A sour or off-taste is a clear sign the brie is no longer suitable.
  6. Expiration Date: While cheese can often last beyond its “sell-by” or “use-by” date, it’s still a good reference point. If the brie is several days past this date and displays any of the above signs, it’s safer to discard it.

“Brie’s allure lies not just in its flavor, but in the fleeting moments it graces our table; savor quickly, store swiftly.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

Tips On How To Store Brie

  1. Original Packaging: Initially, keep brie in its original packaging until you’re ready to eat it. This helps maintain its moisture and flavor.
  2. Wax or Parchment Paper: After opening, wrap the brie in wax or parchment paper. This allows the cheese to breathe while protecting it from absorbing other odors.
  3. Plastic Wrap or Foil: You can add a plastic wrap or aluminum foil layer over the wax or parchment paper to prevent moisture loss.
  4. Airtight Container: Place the wrapped brie in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing unwanted flavors from other foods in the fridge.
  5. Refrigerate Properly: Store brie in the main compartment of your refrigerator, not on the door. This ensures a more consistent temperature.
  6. Avoid Freezing for Short-Term: While brie can be frozen, it’s best to avoid this if you plan to consume it soon. Freezing can alter the cheese’s texture.
  7. Label and Date: If you’re freezing brie or have multiple cheeses in the fridge, label and date them so you can quickly identify and consume them while they’re still fresh.
  8. Room Temperature Serving: Brie is best enjoyed at room temperature. Remove it from the refrigerator about 30-60 minutes before serving to let it warm slightly.
  9. Regular Checks: Periodically check stored brie for any signs of spoilage, such as mold growth or an off-smell, especially if it has been stored for a while.
  10. Store Away from Strong Odors: Since cheese can absorb flavors and smells, ensure it’s stored away from foods with strong odors, like onions [2] or fish.
  11. Replace Wrapping: If the cheese gets moist or the wrapping becomes soiled, replace it with fresh wax paper and re-wrap it to maintain its freshness.

FAQs

u003cstrongu003eWhat kind of cheese can be left unrefrigerated?u003c/strongu003e

Due to their aging process and low moisture content, certain cheeses can be safely left unrefrigerated for periods. Hard cheeses like Parmesan, Grana Padano, and aged Cheddar are notably durable. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eSemi-hard varieties, such as Gouda or Manchego, can also withstand short spells out of the fridge. Additionally, processed cheeses, typically found in individual packets, are designed to be shelf-stable.

u003cstrongu003eDoes unopened brie need to be refrigerated?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, unopened brie should be refrigerated to maintain its freshness and safety.

Final Thoughts

Like many soft cheeses, Brie is highly susceptible to bacterial growth, especially when exposed to room temperature for extended periods. 

Although it’s traditionally brought to room temperature to enhance its flavor profile and spreadability, it is advisable not to leave brie out for more than 2 hours. 

Bacterial contamination and spoilage risks rise sharply after this window, potentially compromising its taste and safety. For those who plan to include brie in their culinary endeavors or social gatherings, it’s crucial to be attentive to this time constraint. 

After serving, any uneaten portions should be returned to a refrigerated environment without delay.

References:

  1. https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-brie-cheese-1806997
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/276714
Shari Mason

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