Which cheese rind is edible? How much must be cut? Often there are warnings for particular groups of people.

The cheese consumption in Germany is rising. Since 2000, the per capita consumption is around 8% annually on now about 23 kg. In Switzerland, which can show a much greater variety of types, supposedly up to 35 kg are consumed per year. But again, there is uncertainty among consumers. The bark can be eaten? If so, what? Because that is bark bark is not the same, of course.

Different cortical

Edam cheese, butter or cheese Tilsit mature into a plastic foil. This forms no bark. In these cheeses is hardly the question, wanting to eat the film. Also linen or wax layers as common in, among other Gouda or Elemental are tempted, not for consumption. The cheese must be packaged with the words “cover not for consumption” as the reference.

Preservative natamycin

In other solid and semi-solid cheese has been formed by repeated rubbing with brine a hard crust. For conservation to protect the cheese from mold, the surface is often treated with the antifungal natamycin. Used in human medicine resistance to natamycin were detected. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in accordance with the European Food Safety Authority that the risk due to the regulated, reduced use of natamycin as negligible. It is still recommended not to extend the possible uses.


Natamycin is 5 mm below the rind no longer be detectable. So it is advisable to remove the bark for at least 5 mm thick in order to keep the intake of natamycin as low as possible, even if it is considered safe. Treated with natamycin cheese must be marked with a notice. Often the recognition of the addition is made difficult by naming “E 235”. When buying bulk produce the collection of information is even more difficult.

Risk of bacterial

The bark is not treated antifungal, they could be eaten. Nevertheless, sensitive individuals are recommended to cut the bark, since it can be colonized with specific bacteria (Listeria). Camembert, brie and blue cheese get its characteristic aroma through a thick, white layer of mold. Also roan goo cheeses such as Munster, Limburger or Romadur get their zest through the bark. Generally regarded as the noble mold rinds are edible, the manufacturer expressly identified as edible. Even with the white mold-and-red smear cheeses because of the risk of listeria-infected pregnant women are advised to give up the pleasure. Wrapped in leaves, rolled in herbs or wood ash or smoked cheeses can be eaten in general with the bark.