Normally i'll buy a big block of tillamook cheddar cheese and it will sit in the fridge for months before getting used up. Any part that's exposed to air in some fashion will turn slightly translucent, but that's about it.
I bought some extra sharp white chedder cheese from Trader Joe's sometime back in mid december. I ate a little bit of it before christmas and then rewraped it in the original wrapper and put it in a ziplock bag and put it back in the fridge.
Last night i got it out and found that after just a month there was white stuff growing all over it. I sliced off the outside bits and ate the rest of the cheese. I looked at the packaging, and it didn't advertise "no preservatives" or anything like that, which they usually do if they go to that trouble. However the ingredient list was supiciously short on long complicated chemical names. I wonder if we've got any other more mainstream cheese in the fridge with the label still on it.
On a similar note, i got some milk out of the fridge last night, and when i checked the expiration date it was for today. I sniffed at the milk and it smelled a little sour, but not really bad. I poured a glass and tasted it and it tasted just fine. Is the nose more sensitive to those chemicals than the tongue is? Or would the milk that was crusted arond the threads of the bottle have spoiled sooner than the rest of it? I would think that being desicated would lead to slower spoilage not faster.