Does parmesan cheese go bad? If you've been storing your cheese for a few weeks in the fridge, you should check it before using it again.
Parmesan cheese, like other dairy products, has an expiration date. After its shelf life is over, the cheese becomes inedible in any form of food.
What is parmesan cheese
Parmesan cheese is a hard-textured cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. It has a long history, and it is used in Italian cuisine mostly. Although parmesan cheese comes from Italy, Americans eat around 40% of all the cheese produced in this country annually.
It is also known as Parmigiano Reggiano (in Italy) or just "Parmesan". It is delicious, versatile, but kind of expensive.
Talking about price, Parmeggiano is an expensive cheese. It costs anywhere from $10 to $15 per pound on average. However, with its shelf value, it's well worth the investment.
How long does Parmesan Cheese last before spoiling?
If you have been wondering whether the hard cheese in your fridge will go bad. Yes, the cheese will go bad if you don't consume it within a reasonable amount of time or store it properly.
However, the length of time before it goes rancid varies considerably. It is influenced by a variety of variables, including the quantity, kind, and packaging of the cheese.
Does parmesan cheese need to be refrigerated
Well according to USDA, hard cheese such as Parmigianino does not need to be refrigerated for safety but will keep longer if stored there. However, I personally, for my peace of mind, I think it should be kept in the fridge as soon as you can especially if opened.
Unopened block of Cheese
Simply put, a full block of parmesan cheese can last for about 7 to 9 months provided it is stored at the right temperature. But what if you have opened your cheese for use? In that case, the life is reduced to around 3-6 months.
Just like any other dairy product, the quality depletes as months pass by. So it is preferable to eat the parmesan cheese within 2 to 3 months.
Most store-bought labels advise that you refrigerate and use it within 7 days once opened.
Treated – shredded, grated Cheese
I'm a huge fan of shredded or grated cheese. It doesn't, however, keep as long. Grated or shredded cheese can last 7-10 days after being opened if stored in an airtight container.
|Parmesan Cheese Type||Refrigerator Life|
|Grated (unopened)||Best-by date + 2 weeks|
|Shredded opened||7 days (consume within 5 days)|
Tip: Buy small packages of parmesan cheese. This way, you can consume it without stocking up for longer periods.
How to know if Parmesan Cheese has Gone Bad?
Spoiled parmesan cheese, like any other dairy product, can be recognized by its appearance, smell, and flavor.
Therefore, if you suspect that your cheese has expired, don’t consume it unless you check. Where to start? Check out the best-by date. If it has passed, you probably want to throw the packet away.
Appearance - the mold Spots
Mold is a type of fungus, which thrives in humid conditions. It can consume almost anything organic and survive from it. The fact that mold grows so fast makes it hard to manage.
Mold is an indication of spoilage in food, however, it is a different case for hard cheese such as Parmesan. Look out for any visible spots, this is the mold that appears on the surface layer of your cheese.
If you see any mold spots, don’t yet dispose of it yet as the rest of the cheese may still be good. This is where the hard texture is beneficial, not all mold spots can penetrate and spread through the inner flesh of hard or semi-hard cheese.
Check if you can scrub the mold spots off from the surface. Scrape or cut off the moldy part and the rest of the cheese will still be usable.
When removing mold from the cheese, be careful, cut away from the mold so that you don't contaminate the rest of the cheese with your knife.
Important: If you aren’t sure how deep the mold had spread, don’t risk it. Dispose of it, is not worth the risk especially if you have a weak immune system.
With grated parmesan cheese, it’s easier to see any mold spots or any other changes in appearance. Thanks to its lighter color tone. Spoiled grated parmesan cheese can have a pale-yellow color dominance.
Avoid moldy cheese if you are pregnant and don’t feed it to young children too.
Odor and Taste
It's straightforward. Things that have been kept too long have a distinct odor. If your parmesan cheese has an unpleasant odor, don't use it. Apart from that, taste testing is an option to determine whether or not it's still edible.
I'm not suggesting you eat it as food; rather, taste a tiny bit of it. If the taste is sour or strange, trash the packet immediately.
How to Store Parmesan Cheese
If you haven’t used all the cheese on day one, you need to store it in some place with optimal conditions. Believe me, after spending all that money, you don’t want to be careless with where you store it.
Wrapping the cheese tightly before putting it in the fridge is essential. I recommend using wax paper and then aluminum foil. Carefully cover the entire cheese packaging with the foil so air doesn’t get in.
Hard cheese does not like moisture! Once your cheese is properly wrapped, store it in the refrigerator. However, you don’t want to mix it with the other foods in your fridge. So store it in the lowest counter.
Personally, I store my parmesan cheese in the vegetable section at the bottom.
- Wrap with a plastic wrap (cling film) or foil and make it air-tight
- Put the wrapped parmesan cheese in an air-tight container and store it in the fridge
- Put it in a way so it’s far from the other food items in the fridge to avoid catching the smell of other food in the fridge. You don’t want to contaminate the flavour.
- The optimum temperature is 4 to 8 degrees C
Tip: Most times, store-bought parmesan wedge is in a resealable package. Simply wrap it with foil, plastic wrap, or a freezer bag before storing in the fridge.
How do I know if my parmesan cheese has gone bad?
Signs include bad smell, sour or bitter taste, or just examine the health of your cheese by looking for any mold spots.
What does bad cheese smell like?
It depends on the quality of the cheese. The smell of bad parmesan cheese can be pungent, sour, or even fruity mild. Here is a fun hack, just know how a fine parmesan smells like and you will be able to spot a bad one instantly.
What is parmesan cheese made of?
Cow’s milk. Like many other dairy products, the primary ingredient of parmesan cheese is milk. This also gives it a pale-yellow color. Parmesan cheese has a hard surface texture.