How Long Does Cheddar Last in the Fridge?

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Cheddar cheese is a scrumptious snack that goes well with a variety of dishes. There is nothing more satisfying than biting into a gooey chunk of cheddar cheese, but buying too much without understanding the cheese’s shelf life might be risky. You wouldn’t want your favorite snack to be abandoned due to stale cheese, would you?

The question “how long does cheddar cheese last” may be on your mind. We’ve got you covered, so don’t worry. The lifespan of this sort of cheese, the proper way to store it, and how to identify stale cheddar cheese are all topics covered in this article.

Cheddar

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is a versatile ingredient that complements a variety of foods. Nothing compares to biting into a wonderful piece of cheddar cheese but purchasing excessive amounts without knowing the cheese’s shelf life can be fatal. Cheddar cheese, commonly known as cheddar, is a hard, natural cheese with a sharp flavor that is off-white (or orange if colorants like annatto are added). The English village of Cheddar in Somerset is where cheddar is produced.

How Long does Cheddar Last in the Fridge?

In the refrigerator, cheddar cheese can last for two to four months. In contrast, it will start to spoil quickly. The greatest option if you want to extend it is to freeze big chunks of cheddar cheese for about eight months.

Cheddar cheese may often be kept in the refrigerator for two to four months after the expiration date on the packaging.

If properly stored, cheddar cheese will stay fresh for one to two months after being opened. Before returning the cheese to its original container, it is crucial to wrap it in something breathable like wax paper, cheesecloth, or parchment.

Cheddar Cheese in Slices

As was already said, sliced cheddar cheese keeps its excellent quality for around three months. Nevertheless, if maintained in the freezer at 0° F or lower, it should still be secure after that period.

How long does opened cheddar cheese last after being thawed and frozen? You can store the sliced cheddar in your refrigerator for an additional three to four days after it has been defrosted before using it.

Cooked foods are the ideal application for frozen deli cheddar cheese. If you eat it alone, it won’t be as tasty and will crumble quickly; instead, combine it with anything like soup, sauce, or casserole.

Cheddar Cheese in Chunks

If properly stored, a piece of cheddar cheese will remain in excellent condition for eight months. However, if you freeze the item at 0°F or lower, it can last longer and still be safe to consume.

Therefore, how long can you store a piece of defrosted cheddar cheese?

Before using, you can store a thawed portion in the fridge for about 3–4 days. On the other hand, a frozen piece should be utilized right away after being thawed in cold water or the microwave.

What to Look for in Bad Cheddar Cheese?

Here are some typical indications that cheddar cheese has gone bad so you can identify it quickly:

The Cheese Smell

Since cheese is a dairy product, an unpleasant odor can help determine whether the cheese has been damaged. Different odors are produced depending on the type of cheese, and it has a foul odor. Before buying the cheese, we must smell it; if it starts to have a different fragrance, it has gone bad.

The Cheese’s Outward Form

If a small amount of mold grows on your cheese, you shouldn’t be alarmed. On cheese, mold can develop quite frequently. Don’t discard anything if there is mold on it. Sometimes cheese is given a mold addition as part of the ripening process. If any portion of the cheese develops molds, you only need to take out that portion of the cheese; you don’t need to throw out the entire batch.

Eaten cheese should not, however, be entirely covered in a thick layer of mold. It might be bad for your health. The presence of mold alone is not a reliable indicator of cheese spoilage.

There are numerous additional obvious signs that the cheese is flawed. The cheese is rotten and should not be eaten if its color has faded or darkened.

The Cheese’s Texture

The texture of fresh cheese, which can be complicated or semi-soft depending on the type, gives it its firmness. As cheese ages, its texture changes. Gritty or powdery cheese shows that it has gone bad since it has the texture of spoilt cheese.

Ruined Cheese Flavour

Trying some cheese is one of the greatest methods to determine if it has been damaged. The sour and unpleasant flavor of spoilt cheese serves as a clear indicator that it has gone bad.

Only a little portion of the cheese should be consumed in order to determine whether or not it has been damaged. A rotting cheese can be identified by its characteristically sour and unpleasant aftertaste.

Ruined Cheese’s Color

The color of the cheese can be used to determine whether it is bad. The most typical cheese colors, which show the cheese’s freshness, are off-white, orange, and yellow. However, as the cheese ages or deteriorates, its color changes. In addition to losing its vibrant freshness, rotten cheese takes on a moldy, darker, greenish appearance. There is a small amount of mold on the cheese.

How to Extend the Life of Cheddar Cheese?

It’s time to discover how to extend the shelf life of your cheddar cheese now that you are aware of how long it can last and how to spot problems.

Storage of Cheese Properly

If cheddar cheese is not properly wrapped, it can quickly lose moisture and become dry. When this occurs, the cheese absorbs more water and becomes more prone to the growth of mold. For instance, shifting temperatures within a cheese box could cause moisture and increase the risk of mold growth. To prevent food poisoning and other health issues, it is advised to discard cheese straight away if there is a lot of visible mold on the surface.

Maintaining Order Is Crucial

Be sure to fully wash your hands before touching a chunk of cheddar cheese in order to increase the cheese’s shelf life. Make sure the surface is clean and uncontaminated by food if you plan to cut into it with a knife. The cheese should never be exposed to unpleasant smells because they could alter its flavor. This is especially critical if it is kept in an open refrigerator where other items like fish might end up smelling like rotting, rotten marine meat.

Frozen Cheddar Use

When cooking, cheddar cheese is a fantastic method to add flavor and texture. However, the crumbly texture may make slicing challenging when frozen before use in a dish.

In order to reduce moisture loss during the defrosting process, thaw the cheddar gradually at room temperature before using it.

Reference: Flavor of Cheddar cheese: A chemical and sensory perspective

Why does Shredded Cheddar Cheese have a Strange Smell?

Smell: Since cheese is a dairy product, it may smell “off,” which is one sign that it is rotting. Depending on the type of cheese, this smell may be rotting milk, ammonia, or even a refrigerator or freezer. If your cheese has surface mold, trim 1/4 inch off the moldy side.

If you notice mold on hard cheese, you can cut off the moldy area and eat the remaining cheese because it’s rare that the spores have traveled throughout the entire block. Another red flag that cheese has gone bad is the smell or taste of rotting, sour milk.

The warm, salty, and wet environment is perfect for germs to flourish. The bacteria that cause the offensive odor are termed Brevibacterium linens (also called B. linens). They produce unpleasant odors and break down the protein on the rind of the cheese.

Why does Cheese Go Bad So Quickly?

According to Freier, soft, immature cheeses will perish far more quickly than hard or semi-hard cheeses, Because they are so wet, these cheeses are like ticking time bombs. You should eat them as quickly as you can as a result!”

Cheese flavor varies as it ages, even after you get it home. Ice can prevent the flavor from developing, but extreme heat or humidity might encourage bacterial growth, which will lead to mold.

Bacteria (molds and yeasts) contaminate the cheese’s surface during production and storage and remain inside the cheese. While these bacteria may be prevented from functioning by cold and dryness, most cheeses eventually go rotten.

We often wrap the cheese in polythene to store it in the fridge, which absorbs moisture and keeps the cheese wet. This offers the mold the perfect environment for development and spread. Cheese molds for this reason when kept in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

When stored correctly, hard cheeses can stay fresh for three to four weeks in the fridge. They can also be left out for a long time if they’re not opened, but it is best to keep them refrigerated if you plan to use them within that time period. Moreover, unopened blocks of hard cheese can last for up to six months. These cheeses are among the most shelf-stable types and can be safely kept in the fridge.

There are a few different kinds of hard cheese, including Edam, Gouda, and Parmesan. They all have a different shelf life, but most of them will stay good for several weeks in the fridge, even after being opened. While unopened, hard cheeses should be stored away from heat and moisture, so they won’t develop mold.