Ask the experts: Mould cheeses

Q: "Would the mould on camembert and brie cheeses affect an allergy to penicillin? My hubby loves his different cheeses but has not been game enough to try these two cheeses due to the mould. Are they both unsafe to eat or do they have different moulds on them?"


A: We asked the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) to respond:

"Many types of cheese are made using moulds from the Penicillium group, including surface-ripened cheeses such as brie and camembert as well as blue vein cheeses. The species of Penicillium that are used to make cheese do not produce the antibiotic penicillin.

While it is unlikely your husband will become ill, allergies are very serious and he should talk to his doctor about what he can safely eat with his penicillin allergy."

First published: Sep 2009

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