How long does Parmesan cheese last and why?

Food FAQs

Are you a cheese lover?

Do you always have a block of Parmesan cheese sitting in your fridge, waiting to be grated over your favorite pasta?

If so, you might be wondering just how long that block of mouthwatering deliciousness can last.

Well, today we’re going to delve into the magical world of Parmesan cheese and answer the burning question: how long does Parmesan cheese really last?

Get ready to have your taste buds tantalized and your cheese knowledge expanded!

how long does parmesan cheese last

An opened chunk of Parmesan cheese will typically last for 4 to 6 weeks when stored in the refrigerator.

It is safe to eat after the “sell by” or “best by” date and any mold can be cut away.

The cheese can also be frozen for 12 to 18 months and will remain safe beyond that time.

Thawed Parmesan cheese should be used within a few days if defrosted in the fridge or immediately if defrosted in the microwave or cold water.

Spoiled Parmesan cheese will have a hard texture, dark color, strong smell, and may develop mold.

Key Points:

  • Parmesan cheese lasts 4 to 6 weeks in the refrigerator once opened
  • It is safe to eat after the “sell by” or “best by” date
  • Mold can be cut away from the cheese
  • Parmesan cheese can be frozen for 12 to 18 months
  • Thawed Parmesan cheese should be used within a few days if defrosted in the fridge
  • Spoiled Parmesan cheese will have a hard texture, dark color, strong smell, and may develop mold.

how long does parmesan cheese last – Watch Video


Pro Tips:

1. Parmesan cheese, known as Parmigiano-Reggiano in Italy, can actually age for up to 3 years before being sold. The average age at which it is consumed is around 18 to 24 months.

2. To preserve Parmesan cheese’s quality, it is legally required in Italy for each wheel to be periodically inspected by a master grader, who taps it with a small hammer. The sound the hammer produces helps determine if there are any structural defects within the cheese.

3. Unlike many other types of cheese, Parmesan can remain perfectly safe to consume even after mold has formed on the surface. This is due to the high salt content and low moisture levels in the cheese, which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.

4. Parmesan cheese was a staple ration for soldiers during World War II. Its nutritional value, non-perishable nature, and ability to add flavor to meals made it a valuable addition to soldiers’ rations.

5. In 2015, a wheel of Parmesan cheese weighing a staggering 1215 pounds (550 kilograms) was stolen from a warehouse in northern Italy. The cheese, valued at approximately $400,000, took two years to produce and was eventually recovered by the police.

Refrigerator Storage: 4 To 6 Weeks For Opened Chunk Of Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese is a popular and versatile ingredient known for its intense flavor and crumbly texture. An ungrated chunk of Parmesan cheese can last about four to six weeks once opened and properly stored in the refrigerator. The cool temperature of the fridge helps slow down the growth of bacteria and mold, ensuring the cheese remains safe and edible.

To maximize the shelf life of Parmesan cheese, it is important to tightly wrap it in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container. This prevents moisture and air from affecting the cheese, which can lead to spoilage. Keeping the cheese away from strong-smelling foods in the refrigerator is also advisable to prevent cross-contamination of flavors.

Extending Shelf Life: Eat Parmesan Cheese After “Sell By” Or “Best By” Date

Many people often wonder if it is safe to consume Parmesan cheese after its “sell by” or “best by” date. The good news is that Parmesan cheese can still be enjoyed even after these dates have passed. These dates are merely guidelines provided by the manufacturer to ensure optimal quality rather than an indication of the cheese’s safety.

Parmesan cheese is a hard, aged cheese, and its low moisture content contributes to its long shelf life. As long as the cheese is properly stored, it can be eaten well beyond the suggested dates without any health concerns. However, it is important to use your senses to determine if the cheese has gone bad. If there are no signs of spoilage and the cheese looks and smells fine, it is most likely safe to eat.

  • Parmesan cheese can be consumed after its “sell by” or “best by” date.
  • These dates are guidelines for optimal quality, not safety.
  • Parmesan cheese has a long shelf life due to its low moisture content.
  • Proper storage is essential.
  • Use your senses to check for spoilage before consuming.
  • If the cheese looks and smells fine, it is most likely safe to eat.

Dealing With Mold: Removing Mold From Parmesan Cheese

If you encounter mold on a chunk of Parmesan cheese, don’t automatically discard the whole piece. Parmesan cheese is made using a unique aging process and has a firm texture, which prevents deep growth of mold. To safely consume the cheese, follow these steps:

  1. Cut away the affected area: Cut out the moldy part, making sure to include an additional margin around it. Discard the moldy portion.
  2. Ensure proper hygiene: Use a clean knife or cheese slicer to remove the moldy part. Make sure the knife does not touch the mold to avoid contaminating the rest of the cheese.

It is crucial to be cautious when dealing with moldy cheese. Consuming mold can cause allergic reactions or digestive issues in some individuals. By following these guidelines, you can still enjoy the remaining cheese safely.

Freezing Parmesan Cheese: Safe For 12 To 18 Months

If you have excess Parmesan cheese or want to make it last longer, freezing is a great option. Parmesan cheese can be frozen for 12 to 18 months to preserve its quality and flavor. Here’s how to freeze Parmesan cheese effectively:

  1. Wrap the Parmesan cheese tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight freezer bag to prevent any exposure to air.
  2. Divide the cheese into smaller portions before freezing to avoid thawing more than needed.
  3. To use the frozen Parmesan cheese, you can grate it directly into dishes or thaw it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

Remember to label and date the Parmesan cheese before freezing it for easier identification later.

Thawing Guidelines: Using Thawed Parmesan Cheese Within 3 To 4 Days

When thawing Parmesan cheese, it is recommended to do so in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature. Thawing the cheese slowly in the fridge allows for a controlled temperature and prevents the growth of bacteria. Thawed Parmesan cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for an additional three to four days before it should be used.

If you need to thaw the cheese quickly, you can opt for the microwave or cold water method. However, it is important to note that Parmesan cheese should be used immediately after thawing using these methods, as they can facilitate the growth of bacteria at a faster rate compared to refrigerator thawing. It is always better to thaw only the amount of cheese you need to minimize waste.

  • Thaw Parmesan cheese in the refrigerator for best results.
  • Microwave or cold water methods can be used for quicker thawing, but use the cheese immediately after thawing.
  • Thaw only the amount of cheese needed to minimize waste.

Spoiled Parmesan Cheese: Recognizing Signs Of Spoilage

Though Parmesan cheese generally has a long shelf life and is safe to consume even after its suggested dates, it is important to be able to identify when it has gone bad. Spoiled Parmesan cheese exhibits various signs that indicate it is no longer suitable for consumption.

Some key indicators of spoiled Parmesan cheese include:

  • Unpleasant odor: If the Parmesan cheese smells sour, rancid, or moldy, it is a clear indication that it has gone bad and should be discarded.
  • Mold growth: Visible mold on the surface of the cheese is another sign of spoilage. While some types of mold are safe to consume (e.g., on certain aged cheeses), it is best to play it safe and avoid consuming Parmesan cheese with mold growth.
  • Texture changes: If the Parmesan cheese becomes overly dry, crumbly, or develops a slimy texture, it has likely spoiled and should not be consumed.
  • Color changes: Any significant changes in color, such as a darkening or yellowing of the cheese, can indicate spoilage and make it unsuitable for consumption.

Remember, when in doubt, it is better to err on the side of caution and discard Parmesan cheese that shows signs of spoilage. Enjoy your Parmesan cheese while it is fresh and in good condition!

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain

Texture Indication: Hardness Of Spoiled Parmesan Cheese

When Parmesan cheese becomes spoiled, it undergoes changes in texture. One of the noticeable indications is the cheese becoming excessively hard. Instead of the usual firmness, the spoiled cheese can become overly dry and crumbly. The texture change occurs due to moisture loss and the breakdown of the cheese’s structure.

  • Spoiled Parmesan cheese can become excessively hard and dry
  • Texture change is characterized by increased crumbliness
  • Moisture loss and breakdown of cheese structure are responsible for the texture change

Color Change: Darkening In Spoiled Parmesan Cheese

Another visual clue of spoiled Parmesan cheese is a significant change in color. While this cheese naturally has a pale yellow hue, spoiled cheese may develop dark spots or turn a darker shade overall. The change in color occurs due to oxidation and the growth of molds, resulting in an unappealing appearance.

Smell And Mold Development: Strong Odor In Spoiled Parmesan Cheese

Spoiled Parmesan cheese emits a strong and pungent smell, which becomes more pronounced as the cheese goes bad. If the storage conditions have been compromised, mold may start to develop on the surface of the cheese. Any visible mold growth indicates spoilage and renders the cheese inedible.

Parmesan cheese can last for several weeks in the refrigerator after opening. It is safe to consume even after its suggested dates, and mold can simply be cut away. Freezing Parmesan cheese extends its shelf life, but it should be used within a few days once thawed.

By recognizing the signs of spoilage, such as changes in texture, color, smell, and mold development, one can ensure the quality and safety of this beloved cheese.


You may need to know these questions about how long does parmesan cheese last

Can Parmesan cheese go bad?

Parmesan cheese, like any other dairy product, can indeed go bad. While a whole, unopened block of Parmesan cheese can stay fresh for seven to nine months in the refrigerator, an opened block will typically last one to two months. Similarly, grated Parmesan cheese should be used within a week once opened. It is essential to pay attention to signs of spoilage, such as a yellowish color or the presence of mold, indicating that the cheese has gone bad.

How long does grated Parmesan cheese last after opening?

Once opened, grated Parmesan cheese can still be safely consumed for up to 10-12 months when stored in the refrigerator. It is important to keep it in an airtight container to maintain its freshness and prevent moisture or any other contaminants from affecting its quality. Regularly check for any signs of spoilage, such as mold growth or an unpleasant odor, before using it in meals to ensure its safety.

Can you use grated Parmesan cheese after expiration date?

the peak quality of the product. After the expiration date, the taste and texture of the cheese may deteriorate, but it may still be safe to consume. However, it is important to use your senses to determine if it is still suitable for consumption. If the cheese has a strange odor, mold growth, or an off texture, it is best to discard it to avoid any potential health risks.

Can you eat 1 year expired Parmesan cheese?

Yes, you can eat Parmesan cheese that is one year past its expiration date. Parmesan typically has a long shelf life and can be safely consumed even after the expiration date, as long as it hasn’t spoiled or developed any rancid flavors. If the cheese looks and smells fine, there is no need to be concerned about its age and it should still be enjoyable to eat. So, feel free to grate that aged Parmesan onto your favorite pasta dish without worry!

Reference source

See also  The Difference Between A Samosa And A Deep Fried Dumpling