The Biggest Cheese Mistake You're Probably Making, According To Gordon Ramsay

Stocking up on delicious cheeses is a pastime many folks take pleasure in. When it finally comes time to indulge in that cheesy goodness, it's important to follow a couple of simple rules to ensure the freshest, tastiest dairy product possible. For one, thou shalt always store cheese in an optimal environment, as the conditions created by different temperatures and moisture levels can have a major effect on its texture, flavor, and other key attributes. After all, no one wants slimy or stale cheese. Not even mice.

When it comes to handling beloved ingredients with TLC, award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay knows a thing or two — and is willing to share his expert intel with consumers so they stop repeating their bloody foolish mistakes. Chef Ramsay recently answered dozens of culinary-related questions from fans around the globe on WIRED's YouTube channel. One particularly curious Twitter user asked, "Can cheese go bad? I'm eating this cheese and it tastes funny but I'm also hungry." Here's what Ramsay had to say to the clearly amateur turophile — and any viewer who craves the occasional charcuterie board.

Never leave certain cheeses out for hours on end

You know how some food products' labels advise, "Please keep refrigerated"? Well, the same applies to many cheeses. Gordon Ramsay answered the famished fan's inquiry in his acclaimed matter-of-fact fashion: "The worst thing you can do with cheese is take it out of the fridge, let it get up to room temperature, leave it out for 24 hours, and then refrigerate it," Ramsay explains. "Once you've taken it out and it's gotten really runny, you have to eat it or discard it."

Chef Ramsay definitely has a point here. Leaving cheese, let alone any dairy product, out for too long isn't the best idea. The main reason you should never allow cheeses to sit out too long boils down to the production of harmful bacteria, which may cause illness if eaten. It also, however, depends on the type of cheese, as not all are made equally. The National Dairy Council suggests keeping softer, milkier cheeses like mozzarella and Brie cool, and only leaving them at room temp for about two hours. On the other hand, hard, aged cheeses like Gouda, Swiss, and cheddar are slightly less susceptible to spoilage.

According to Healthline, while some hard cheeses can survive fairly well without refrigeration, they are more likely to stay in pristine condition when kept in the crisper drawer. Thankfully, there are a number of pro hacks you can use to ensure cheese's freshness. Try storing cheese alongside some sugar cubes, for instance.