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Say "No" to Mold!

Did you know that Tillamook Cheese doesn’t contain mold inhibitors?

To keep your Tillamook Cheese tasting great and mold free, always store it in the fridge. To prolong the life of your loaf, follow these tips:

•    Keep your cheese in its original package.
•    Wash your hands before handling.
•    Avoid touching the cheese that you plan on putting back in the fridge.
•    When slicing your loaf, pull the wrapper back and cut off the desired amount of cheese.
•    Tightly fold the original wrapper back over the end.
•    Press foil or plastic wrap over the end of your cheese and place it in an airtight, sealed plastic bag.
•    Place your cheese in the coldest section of the fridge (less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit).

Sometimes even when you follow these tips cheese will still mold. I suggest cutting off about ¼ inch past the mold and enjoy the rest of the loaf of cheese.



Hi, I have left my beautiful Tillamook cheese out on the counter for well over a week now cause I don't like cold cheese. I am so curious as to why there is no mold formed on it. This is the second time I have done this over the last year. Thanks for any info you can provide.

June 2nd, 2013 at 8:26 am

Tillamook Team

Hi Betty,

Thanks for the question! Our loafs of cheddar don’t contain mold inhibitors, and I’m not sure why it hasn’t started to mold. Mold often develops with increased exposure to air and bacteria, so it’s possible that if you’ve kept it wrapped up, it may not have started to mold. Since Tillamook Cheddar is a perishable dairy product, it does require constant refrigeration, and I wouldn’t recommend eating cheese that has been left out. To make sure the cheese is safe to eat, I definitely recommend keeping it in the fridge whenever you aren't using it!

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

June 6th, 2013 at 4:46 pm


I left a 1/2 eaten 2lb loaf of each of your medium cheddar and pepper jack out on our counter last night. They were also out of their wrappers. The temperature in the house is 65 degrees. I put them back in the zip lock bag and back in the fridge at 7:00 am. Are they still safe to eat?

Thank you for your reply. By the way your cheese is the best ever.


March 21st, 2015 at 8:13 am

Tillamook Team

Hi Jay,
Thanks for reaching out to us with your question. Just like the milk it’s made from, Tillamook Cheese is a perishable dairy product and should always be stored in the fridge (ideally in the coldest part). You can take cheese out of the fridge up to an hour before you plan on using it, but it should be put back in the fridge immediately after you’re done. If you’re in a warm environment, cheese shouldn't be left out for too long – the heat will change the texture and oil may develop on the outside of the cheese. I'm afraid I can't recommend that you eat the cheese, but if you want to take a nibble and see how it tastes, you can always test it out.

All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

March 23rd, 2015 at 1:43 pm


I got a 1 lb package of Colby Jack on Oct 30th and opened it the next day. I am always very careful to follow all your mold prevention tips... and only 2 weeks later there was mold on every surface except the one that had been cut! :( I lost half of what was left when i cut off all the mold plus the 1/4 inch extra :'( 2 weeks seems like an awfully short amount of time for this to happen!

November 15th, 2015 at 10:14 pm

Tillamook Team

Hi Maggie,
I'm so sorry to hear about your recent experience with our Colby Jack. It is possible, even if you are extremely careful, that things out of your control might affect mold growth. If you still have the packaging, you can reach out to our consumer relations team with that information so they can record your experience to look for any trends, and replace your cheese.

Amalya of the Tillamook team

November 23rd, 2015 at 10:28 am


I have 2 loaves of Tillamook in their original package (but opened). Both have been refrigerated in my refrigerator for almost 3 months now and there is not one spec of mold.
I am this even real cheese anymore?
What is up with this? What are you not telling us? No mold inhibitor? Maybe not, if this is no longer real cheese.
Please explain this.
Remember, it is not just one loaf, but two loaves and neither have any mold and are over 3 months old in my refrigerator.
I'd love you to send me an email and let me know what is going on with Tillamook cheese.

January 19th, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Tillamook Team

Hi Addie,

Thanks for reaching out to us here on the blog! Please be assured, Tillamook Cheese is real, natural cheese. It is made with only three to four ingredients: cultured milk, salt, enzymes, and sometimes (for certain cheeses) annatto for natural color. Our cheese loafs can last a long time in the fridge if they are stored correctly, with limited exposure to air. In fact, our cheddar continues to age naturally over time, so as long as it is mold-free, it should be safe to eat even after the best by date on the package. I hope this information is helpful! Please let me know if you have any more questions here.


Callie, of the Tillamook team

January 25th, 2016 at 9:12 am


I saw that Tillamook cheese now uses mold inhibitors in the shredded cheese. Why? I know that you have always said that this is something you are against, but it is happening now, shredded cheese or not.

February 13th, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Rose Harrell

Many of my family love you Smoked white cheddar but are upset that we can only find the tiny packages. When family comes to visit us in Tillamook we always go to the Creamery...everyone wants the Smoked white cheddar in larger pkgs. Any reason it can't be packaged larger or do we need to special order? It is so hard to find in stores.

February 16th, 2016 at 11:08 pm


Tillamook Team

Hi Kris,

Thanks for your comment and for your question. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us.

We do use a very small amount of Natamycin in our shreds. This natural ingredient helps maintain the freshest, mold-free cheese. Natamycin has been used safely for decades in the dairy industry to help prevent mold, and enables us not to have to use artificial preservatives. I will certainly share your comment with the larger Tillamook team. We are always happy to receive product/ingredient suggestions like this!

Thank you,

Jackie, of the Tillamook Team

March 4th, 2016 at 2:30 pm


Tillamook Team

Hi Rose,

Thanks so much for reaching out and contacting us on our blog! I'm so happy to hear that your family enjoys Tillamook Smoked White Cheddar, it is delicious. That's also so great to hear that you're able to bring your family right to the Factory. Right now it's only available in the small size and the same is true for some of our other specialty cheeses (garlic white cheddar, hot habanero jack, etc). We don't have current plans to make this flavor available in a larger size but we love to get suggestions like this from our fans so please know yours will be shared with the larger team here!

All the best,

Jackie, of the Tillamook Team

March 4th, 2016 at 2:59 pm


I opened a package of the medium smoked cheddar yesterday. I went to slice it and noticed little white specks on every serface. I cut off one of the long sides and the specks go all the way through. Is this mold or part of the cheese?

January 3rd, 2017 at 10:42 am


Tillamook Team

Hi Katie,

Great question! What you are seeing is calcium lactate, or "cheese crystals". They form during the natural aging process and especially quickly in smoked cheddars. They are usually a sign you have find a well-aged, delicious loaf and of course are perfectly safe to eat. If you'd like to learn more about calcium lactate, feel free to read our post called "What is Calcium Lacate?":

Thanks again for reaching out!

Sierra, of the Tillamook team

January 6th, 2017 at 9:16 am



we have a coworker who has a big block of the sharp cheddar cheese and is infested with mold. we advised him not to eat it, however our coworker is saying he can still eat it, is this safe?

July 31st, 2017 at 12:33 pm


Tillamook Team

Hi Crystal,

If you see mold on your cheese, don’t worry. Most molds are harmless - all you have to do is cut it off. Cut away at least a half inch of cheese on all sides of the visible mold. We recommend keeping your knife out of the mold spots as you are cutting. The remaining mold-free part of your cheese should be fine to eat, but it’s best to use it up as quickly as possible.

I hope that helps!

August 4th, 2017 at 7:52 am
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