Are you wondering; how long does cheese last in the fridge? Cheese comes in two forms. There is the hard cheese and the semi-hard cheese.
Hard cheese lasts the longest when stored properly in the refrigerator. Semi-hard cheese, on the other hand, is also not badly off. If properly stored in the fridge, it can last and surpass its expiry date.
If you ask yourself, ‘how long does cheese last in the fridge?’ The answer is in how you are doing the storage.
A few factors are dependent on how long cheese will last once it is refrigerated. They include the type of cheese, processing method, packaging date, exposure to heat, and how the cheese itself is stored.
How Long Does Cheese Last In The Fridge With These Factors In Mind?
Unopened hard cheese lasts for two to four months in the fridge and six to eight months in the freezer.
Unopened semi-hard cheese, on the other hand, lasts one to two months in the refrigerator and six to eight months in the freezer. This is regardless of their processing and expiry dates.
For instance, the feta cheese shelf life is two to three months if its packaging is not tampered with. It contains a saline solution that makes a good preservative.
Finally, if storing your cheese in the fridge or freezer, ensure that you use the recommended temperature ranges.
Open hard cheese will last three to six weeks in the fridge and six to eight months in the freezer.
In addition to this, the spread of semi-hard cheese will last three to six weeks in the refrigerator and six to eight months in the freezer. Again, this is regardless of their processing and expiry dates.
Generally, the harder the cheese, the longer it will last in the fridge. However, it is important to note that storing the hard cheese inappropriately will shorten its lifespan in the refrigerator.
However, consider that the cheese is composed of other different dairy products. These products are meant to last until a particular period. Once their time elapses, you can no longer consume the cheese.
How to Tell If Your Hard Cheese is Bad, Rotten, or Spoiled
When you practice proper food hygiene, you prevent many foodborne diseases. While your senses are not a perfect test, you can almost tell when food has gone bad and is not fit for consumption by using your senses.
When your cheese starts having a darker color, accompanied by a stronger smell, you know it is time to dispose of it.
Your cheese is no longer fit to use when you begin to see some mold or a strange strong smell. If your hard cheese gets softer, you should also throw it away.
While some molds are harmless to your cheese, others are extremely toxic and dangerous to your health.
How to Store Hard Cheese to Extend its Shelf Life
You can help your cheese stay longer than its shelf life by storing it under the recommended temperature range in your refrigerator.
Secondly, you must hold the cheese in its original wrapper or a container that is closed tightly to keep it away from moisture and other contaminating bacteria.
There are some containers, however, that do not need refrigeration. If you are looking to store cheese for a longer term, you can keep it in the freezer section of your refrigerator for a few months.
You can use cheese in its frozen state to do your baking.
Interesting Facts about Hard Cheese
- The harder your cheese is, the longer it will stay in storage. Bacteria do not grow in an already dry environment.
- The longer the hard cheese is aged, the sharper it gets in taste.
- Processed cheese consists of more than one natural cheese. In many cases, it is supplemented with milk.
- If your hard cheese has pasteurized milk, the government recommends that it be used for not more than 60 days.
- You can keep the cheese if the mold is seen on only a small section of your hard cheese. However, it is important to cut off the part containing the mold.
How long is Hard Cheese Good For when Used in a Meal?
How long your hard cheese lasts determines the ingredients or supplements it is made with. For example, if supplemented with milk, the hard cheese cannot last longer than the milk used to increase it.
Once the milk life elapses, your hard cheese should be considered no longer good for consumption.
While purchasing cheese, it is important to note that its shelf life will vary with the individual and the ingredients used to make it.
Always check the expiry date of the ingredient used to confirm how long you will use your hard cheese. All these will help answer the question; how long does cheese last in the fridge?
This way, you know how long you will need to keep the cheese.